A plan to build eight houses in South Marston has been turned down.

Swindon-based developer Bower Mapson Homes Ltd had applied for planning permission to build eight houses in an exclusive development off Nightingale Lane just on the eastern edge of the expanding village.

As part of the plans the company wanted to build 2.6 acres of ‘public park and woodland’ which it would have given to the parish council. The company has created a similar small wood when it built the St Julian's Close development in the village 16 years ago, and it said the idea was to maintain a barrier between the village and Swindon proper.

But that scheme has been rejected by planners at Swindon Borough Council.

That followed representations by both nearby residents and South Marston Parish Council.

The first objection was that further development along Nightingale Lane had been specifically ruled out in the council's neighbourhood plan, adopted in 2017, in order to maintain the character of the road as a rural single-carriageway lane with passing places.

The three-storey design of some of the houses also contravened the plan: "Which clearly state that new development should be two storey to be consistent with existing village housing. A 2.5 storey house may be used at a landmark location – this would not apply anywhere on this site and not to all 8 houses in this development proposal at the edge of the village."

The third objection was the the houses would encroach on the 'non-coalescence' zone intended to keep South Marston separate from the new Rowborough village - one of the new eastern villages to be constructed on the edge of town.