PLANNING permission for two blocks of flats destined for one neighbourhood has been refused.

Councillors rejected the plans for 33 flats to be built in the Kingshill area on two roads within 100 metres of one another.

Twenty residents who attended the planning meeting on Tuesday evening welcomed the decision.

But they say they are still concerned and expect both developers to take the decisions to appeal.

The first proposal for 12 apartments to be built in Radnor Street was backed by planning officers, but was rejected by councillors on the grounds that it would overpopulate the area.

The second development, which planning officers recommended for refusal, was for 21 flats in Shelley Street.

Officers were concerned about parking issues and the stability of the ground.

Philip Neighbour, the chairman of the Radnor Street and Area Residents' Association, agreed with the decisions and said the last time someone tried to build on the land in Shelley Street it caused structural damage to surrounding houses.

He believes if building goes ahead it could cause damage to his and neighbouring properties.

He said: "This has been ongoing for 26 years and I think it's time someone stepped in to resolve the issue.

"The land has natural springs on it making it unstable. There have been several attempts to build on it and it has always failed.

"The last time they tried it caused a huge crater in the ground, which still stands today.

"Currently there is water there with frogs living in it and it is quite nice.

"Our association is trying to have this resolved once and for all."

Coun Martin Wiltshire (Lib Dem, Eastcott) asked the committee to beef up its recommendation to include land stability, which the committee agreed to.

The residents' group has high hopes that this will make it harder for the developers to appeal against the decision in the future.

Residents are currently planning ways to move their fight forward.

One idea was asking South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove to back their campaign after she visited the site in May.

Anyone interested in contacting Philip is asked to call him on 01793 323081.