Planners behind a primary school for a new development in an 8,000-home expansion to Swindon will need to rethink its design.

Members of Swindon Borough Council's planning committee deferred a decision on the details of the design of a school building in the Redlands area of the New Eastern Villages, and specifically the car park, proposed by The Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust.

The fact that a school will go on the site in the Redlands village and the access to it off the spine road running through the village has already been given permissions and can’t be changed.

But the appearance of the building and how the school’s grounds are laid out still have to be agreed by the council - and the plan by the church had been called in by Wanborough Parish Council which has objected to the design of the building.

The school will be two storeys high, set out in a cross form deliberately designed to evoke a county church.

But parish council chairman John Warr said it would be very conspicuous when viewed from Wanborough, and loom large over the landscape.

He told members: “It would be the easy thing to approve this. But the right thing to do is to say no and go back to planning.”

The ward councillor for Wanborough Councillor Gary Sumner spoke in favour of the proposal and said: “This will also be a church and visitors will approach it looking at a wonderful stained glass window. The long-gabled roof allows solar panels along its whole length and the school will be operationally net zero within a year.”

Members of the committee did have some issues with its design, notably Councillor Jane Milner-Barry who said: “It’s a disappointingly boring building, and I’m concerned about the amount of natural light available in the classrooms Schools should look like a place you really want to go to, and this isn’t I’m afraid.”

But what really concerned most members was the arrangements for parking and especially parents dropping off and picking up their children at both ends of the school day.

In response to a question by Councillor Vijay Manro, it was established that the 78 car parking spaces were not enough.

And Councillor Neil Hopkins said it wasn’t safe to ask parents to pull into the car park to drop children off and then walk through the middle of the car park. Councillor Nick Gardiner wanted the car park redesigned to incorporate a pedestrian path.

After the debate, councillors voted 12 to one to defer the decision to allow the church to reconsider the design of the car park and building.