The plans for more than 135 homes at the former Farnborough College of Technology annexe have gone to appeal and will probably now be decided at a public inquiry in July.

In the meantime amended plans for a second application have been deferred and are about to go out for public consultation.

Rushmoor development control councillors objected to the plans last week — mainly because of the impact on the site, a conservation area.

Deputy mayor Cllr George Paparesti, backed by the other ward councillors, condemned the plans, saying they would have terrible consequences for the residents.

He added: "The roads around the site already carry a high volume of traffic and this will lead to more.

"It will also lead to longer times for patients wanting to see their GPs because there's already a severe overload in this area."

He said concerns over the loss of trees and wildlife hadn't been addressed properly and drainage implications needed to be addressed.

"We've had severe problems, past and present. Drainage from the proposed site would feed into this system, making the problems a great deal worse," he added.

But development control manager Daryl Phillips said the council would only be able to oppose the plans on planning grounds.

Mr Phillips added: "We'll have to try to make sure we don't cloud the issues which conflict with our local policies and government planning regulations.

"We'll have to make sure we come up with proper reasons."

He said the site was a brownfield area and already designated for development.

The council was not, therefore, in a position to object to redevelopment in principle — but it could argue that what was being proposed wasn't appropriate.

Mr Phillips continued: "It's not the number of dwellings that's the argument, it's the design and impact it will have on the site.

"In terms of density, it's not what you think it should be because it conflicts with PPG3 (government's planning guidance). We're going to argue what impact this would have on the conservation area."

He urged councillors to recognise they could only argue matters which had a case.

"Highways isn't objecting to the road implications and there are no drainage problems to be had from this," he said.

Residents in the area have been notified of the appeal and have until April 9 to write to the Planning Inspectorate with objections (previous letters will also be considered).

The council has also agreed to defer the second planning application to allow time for public consultation on amended plans.

In a letter to this newspaper, Trevor Sawyer, managing director of Barratt, criticised Rushmoor Council for suggesting the company was breaking the law in submitting two planning applications.

The developer argued it was being treated unfairly because it had been actively working with the council to come up with the best possible scheme.

Mr Sawyer wrote: "Our amended plans were submitted at the request of Rushmoor's planning officers to address some of their relatively minor concerns over the layout.

"What is more, the timing of the appeal submission was also agreed with the planning officers because they advised us that it would probably end up going to appeal in any event."

Barratt spokesman Robert Barlowe said twin-tracking was a normal part of the planning process.

"It's simply a way of ‘booking' your place in the appeals programme when you've been told by planners it's probably going to be required."