A SCHEME to develop a derelict farmyard in the centre of Urchfont for housing has been granted planning permission, nearly 12 years after the idea was first mooted.

Farmer John Snook first applied for permission to redevelop Manor Farm Yard, next to the duck pond, in 2002. Three previous planning applications were turned down and one appeal was refused after the planning inspector took note of local opposition.

But the latest plan, submitted by Chipping Sodbury-based Redcliffe Homes, has ticked all the boxes as far as the majority of villagers are concerned.

The proposed development involves 19 properties – a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom houses and two flats.

It has been designed to retain the look of a farmyard with homes made to look like barns and agricultural workers’ cottages.

The pond and the ducks that live on it are protected as part of the application and local people are satisfied that enough parking spaces have been provided to prevent parking on the narrow street.

The plans were presented to the village at a public meeting in February 2012. The developers listened to concerns and their amended plans were submitted to Wiltshire Council in August of 2012.

The parish council voted unanimously to support the scheme. Parish council chairman Nicky Mitchell said: “These are by far the best plans for the site that have been put before us.”

It is expected that building work will start in the early part of 2014.