ANGRY developers have rounded on the council after plans to redevelop part of Swindon town centre were thrown out.

The Advertiser reported last week that developers were told by councillors to think again after submitting plans to turn the town's tented market, in Market Street, into three restaurants and a café.

Lewis Davis, of Central Investment Properties, said: "Not only were we shocked to have our proposal rejected, but were surprised at the types of comments in the article, bearing in mind they are as much a criticism of the council's planning department, who recommended the application for approval, as a criticism of us."

The developer had submitted revised plans to overhaul the popular market, which has been standing empty for several months.

But scaled down plans to incorporate three restaurants as opposed to five on the town centre site were branded a disgrace by Coun Rex Barnett (Con, Haydon Wick).

The developers are not satisfied by the committee's decision as they say the plans were carefully considered before going before the committee.

Mr Davis said: "Our scheme was put to the planning committee with a recommendation for approval from the planning officers.

"It was submitted after careful consideration and discussions with the planning department.

"The scheme needs to be both commercially viable to us and also to be an addition to Swindon town centre that would stand the test of time which, unfortunately, the market has not been able to do."

The developers are now putting in place a professional team to launch an appeal.

Mr Davis added: "We are confident that we will be successful."

The tented market has been empty since October when stallholders were forced out by owners Swindon Space Management just 10 weeks before Christmas.

They were told the structure could be used as part of the London 2012 Olympic village.