THE CONTROVERSIAL plans to build nearly 1,700 homes at Tadpole Farm was given the thumbs up by Swindon Council tonight - despite concerns about congestion and school places.

Developer Crest Nicholson has received conditional outline approval to build 1,695 homes on the site at Blunsdon St Andrew, as well as other facilities, including a community centre, pub and primary school.

The development has been controversial, with concerns about the suitability of existing roads, increased flooding, and the availability of school places.

During the first round of public consultation, the council received 470 letters of objection or concern, and nine in support.

Tonight’s planning committee added an extra condition that Crest Nicholson must negotiate with officers and ward councillors on how it can address the concerns through contributions - and if no satisfactory agreement is reached within three months then the formal permission will not be granted.

See tomorrow's Adver for the full story.