PEOPLE in Royal Wootton Bassett are celebrating after controversial plans to build a ‘monstrous tin shed’ on the outskirts of the town were dismissed by a government inspector.

The complex which would have seen a Lidl, a care home and more than 200 new homes built north of the town at Marsh Farm had already been denied by Wiltshire Council but was dismissed again on appeal.

Former councillor and mayor Chris Wannell said he was glad a decision has been reached.

“The strongest argument against the plan was Wiltshire Councils own core strategy. RWB’s neighbourhood plan was also against it but couldn’t be considered because the development was technically in a neighbouring parish.

“If the plan had gone ahead it would have created a horrible metropolis connecting us to places like Hook and closer to Swindon, which isn’t in the interest of everyone.

I think the development would have had a very negative effect on the overall look of the town. Next to our historic buildings we would have had a monstrous tin shed of a Lidl.

He added: “We don’t even need a Lidl, we’ve already got an Aldi coming to the town, two cut-price stores would be bad. We’ve spent a long time trying to protect our already struggling high street.

“I’m very pleased with the decision that has been reached. I feel quite vindicated after the long fight we’ve put up and I’m glad it has all come to an end. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us over the years.”

The development was first introduced in 2014 by Leda Properties Ltd to build 320 dwellings, but was later reduced after failing at appeal.

Coun Paul Heaphy agreed there was no need for a new supermarket near the town: “We as a town really don’t need another store opening up, we’ve got an Aldi opening soon and I think we’d like to see how that goes first.”

Asked whether he expects Lidl and Leda to appeal again he said: “I expect they will but hopefully next time the process will be a lot quicker at telling them no.

“It is a shame because I’d rather the developers work with us to get things that the town needs like infrastructure and other services.”

Chairman of the town’s neighbourhood plan steering group, Mike Leighfield said it has been a long process.

“It’s taken over five years for this to be over and the neighbourhood Plan made sure it consulted everyone from residents to local businesses to even the developers themselves.

“But the inspectors backed us up completely that this development was not warranted for the area.

“We are not against new developments but we have to be sure that they are the right developments.”