HIGHWORTH councillors vented complaints about the way their Swindon counterparts carried out a planning meeting.

Pauline Webster, chair of Highworth town council's planning committee, went to the meeting with 10 of her colleagues and several residents to show support for an application.to build a new Aldi.

Though the application was given the go-ahead, councillors were not impressed by other parts of the planning meeting.

Pauline said: “I was horrified by the way that this was conducted.

"Someone’s phone went off twice so people were interrupted by Darth Vader's music from Star Wars, planning officers laughed and giggled while residents were speaking, the speaker system was quite poor and it was difficult to understand what was being said, and we had to wait for councillors to go and return from the toilets after just one application was heard.

"The rules, clearly shown in the chamber, say that if there are two members of the public speaking about an application, they get five minutes each, but when two people wanted to speak at the meeting they were told they only had two-and-a-half minutes each to talk.

“This led to one poor woman rushing so quickly through a speech she had planned that it wasn’t always clear what she was saying.

"It was worthwhile for so many of us to come along to show how serious we were about the Aldi application."

Coun Lynn Vardy also disapproved of Swindon planning officer's behaviour and Coun Gerald Edwards said that the sound system was "abysmal".

A letter will be written to Swindon's planning committee about the Highworth councillors' concerns.