FUMING parish councillors have laid in to Swindon Borough Council for apparently failing to abide by its own planning guidance.

South Swindon Parish Council says the size of three-bed houses at the George Gay Gardens complex off Queens Drive are around a tenth smaller than they should be under national guidelines promoted in the authority’s guidance for developers.

And furious parish councillors claimed they have evidence proving borough officers know the houses are too small but they aren’t going to do anything about it.

Vice-chairman of the parish planning committee Patrick Herring said: “It’s ridiculous.

"If they’re not going to follow their own design guidance how can they expect anyone else to do so.”

The parish has previously objected to plans for the 149-home development, saying the size of the three-bedroom homes in plans did not meet the government’s nationally-described space standards.

Existing plans drawn up for the borough show the homes as 85sq m, compared to the nationally-recommended minimum of 93sq m.

The national space standards have not been adopted into Swindon Borough Council’s Local Plan, meaning they are not yet borough policy.

But, they are set out in the Swindon residential design guide, a document showing developers the kind of housing the council wants to promote.

“It’s really, really frustrating to see a plan by the borough that they’ve designed with their own architects and they’ve designed it too small,” said a visibly angry Mr Herring.

“It doesn’t meet their own residential design guidance.”

Neil Hopkins, parish councillor for Old Town, said: “As far as I’m concerned it’s completely unacceptable the the borough council is trying not to build to standards it has itself.”

In an email responding to parish concerns, borough officers said they accepted the three-bed house size did not meet the national guidance.

But it added: “Swindon has not adopted these standards and the house sizes will remain the same as this currently complies with SBC planning requirements.”

They said bedrooms in the homes would be enlarged to at least 6.5sqm to comply with the national guidance.

A spokesman for the borough council said: “The proposed development on Queens Drive is currently going through the planning process and the local parish council has raised some concerns with the application which is a standard part of that process.

"Our officers have met with the parish councillors to discuss these concerns and as a result we have made a number of changes including increasing the size of the bedrooms.

“Of the 24 three-bed houses being proposed, 10 would be affordable homes and 14 would be low-cost home ownership.

"The size of all the homes fit with our current planning requirements and have been approved by Homes England.

"Our planning committee will review the feedback on the plans before making a decision.”