Controversial plans to build 50 flats on the site of the Red Lion pub were finally given the green light on Tuesday evening, after a lengthy and expensive application process.

Despite the fact most councillors at the council’s development control meeting disliked the plans, their hands were tied by the Planning Inspectorate’s comments, given after the original application was turned down on appeal in February.

Red Lion Road residents, who have opposed the design from the outset, were at the meeting to hear the news.

Jane Bransby, member of the Residents for Reasonable Development association, said: “All the residents are very disappointed. I think what disappointed us the most was that the majority of councillors said they weren’t happy with the building but didn’t have grounds to refuse it because the planning inspector’s concerns had been addressed.”

Three out of seven councillors voted against the proposal, which also included space for three commercial units and off-road parking, including Councillor Vicki Harris, who said the comments had effectively cut their legs from underneath them.

She said: “The developer did listen to people’s concerns and made some real changes to second proposal but I still think on the whole it’s too much for the site.

“I’m sure other councillors would have wanted to say no as well nut we have to be realistic and know what we can get away with and, as much as I accept that, I still couldn’t agree with it.”

CNM Estates director Wahid Samady said: "The residents have done a great job in raising their objections and it's through their effort that positive changes have been made.

"No scheme is perfect and this scheme has found a balance between everybody's perspectives and I hope it will be a development that will stand the test of time."