PROTESTERS are fighting a last ditch battle to prevent homes being built on Aldershot's controversial Manor Park site.

They have called for a top level investigation into the way the planning application has been handled by Rushmoor Council.

The objectors have asked the Government Office for the South East to investigate their allegation that planning procedures have been breached.

Their demand is backed by a petition signed by 516 people who say they have no confidence in the council's planning department.

Johanne Lance, one of the protest organisers, said on Monday: "It's unbelievable the way this application has been handled.

"The planning process, as well as local democracy, has been put into disrepute. It's a scandal."

She was among 70 Manor Park residents who looked on last week as the council planners considered Barratt's amended plan to build 128 homes on the 6.4-acre conservation area site.

The committee gave the blueprint its blessing, but asked the developer to submit an improved design for the site.

Local residents will be given a chance to comment on the new layout before the planners make a final decision.

In a press release the protest group - Aldershot Manor Park Lobby for the Environment - welcomed the committee's consultation promise.

But it is sticking to its view that consideration of the altered plan last week breached planning rules because it hadn't been put out for public consultation.

AMPLE also claims its members' human rights were breached because they were not allowed to speak at the meeting.

Two Aldershot councillors were also gagged because they had spoken out about the plan before the meeting.

The protesters have been on the warpath since last year when Barratt's paid £8.7-million for the former Farnborough College of Technology site.

Rushmoor planning chief Keith Holland dismissed the objectors' claims as unfounded.

"I am confident we have followed the correct process and procedures," he said.