BUILDERS Barratts have been told by the government to go back to the drawing board in their bid to put 128 new homes on the old Manor Annexe site in Aldershot.

Government inspector Stephanie Chivers, who conducted a three day inquiry into the proposal in July, has backed Rushmoor in its view that the design of the homes was not good enough for the Manor Park Conservation Area.

In dismissing the builders' appeal, the inspector said that "the buildings would be neither of an innovative modern design…nor would they be a convincing interpretation of the traditional dwelling forms or elements of the conservation area." She added that it represented a missed opportunity to exploit the site's unique character and would be detrimental.

Coun. Pat Devereux, Vice-Chairman of Rushmoor's Development Control Committee, described the verdict as "excellent news" adding that if there was to be development on the site it needed to be of the highest quality. If Barratts wants to continue it will have to submit redesigned plans for the homes.