The politician in charge of the massive New Eastern Villages expansion of Swindon said he is ‘ecstatic’ that the £30m link road has been approved.

But he knows it will face a slightly stiffer challenge later.

Plan for the 'southern connector' road, which will link thousands of houses to be built in the development to Commonhead roundabout, the A419 and the M4, were unanimously given the go-ahead by borough council planners.

The authority’s cabinet member for strategic planning Gary Sumner was there to watch.

He said: “I was very pleased this proposal was passed.

"I had expected some of the people who object to go to the meeting. The objections are not really on planning grounds.

“It was a very sensible decision by the committee and I’m ecstatic, this allows us to move on.”

Coun Sumner said the road will be built before major housing developments on land to the east of the A419, to ensure infrastructure is already in place.

As the authority is buying farmland via a compulsory purchase order for the road, which will have footways and a cycle path.

But a group of 19 landowners have already said they are unhappy with the route and the price they’ve been offered, saying those at the southern end will be left with land either side of the road that is rendered unusable.

A public inquiry will start in late January.

Coun Sumner said: “The public inquiry could be more involved and take longer than the planning committee.

"It’s perfectly understandable that the landowners are looking for the best possible price they can get for the land. There’s nothing wrong with that.

“I would point out that if the road isn’t built then the development it's designed to serve might not happen, and then there will be no need for their land at all.”

Councillor John Ballman asked in committee why the road had not been designed as a dual-carriageway.

Coun Sumner said: “This is not designed or intended to be a road that served a large number of strategic journeys between the A420 and the Commonhead roundabout.

"It’s designed to serve the residents in the southern half of the New Eastern Villages.”

He told the committee that its northern end would ‘meander’ through the centre of the Lotmead village development in order to be less encouraging as a rat-run.