CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for 100 homes on fields in Harnham were delighted to learn today that the site had been excluded from the council's long-term housing plans.

The Save the Meadows group has opposed Longford Estate and St Nicholas Hospital's bid to build at Britford Lane since the Journal revealed the landowners' intentions in March 2015.

Today Wiltshire Council published a long-awaited draft of its Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan – which aims to ensure the council hits government housing targets by 2026.

Council planners have excluded the controversial Britford Lane site because it lies partially within a flood zone and the main road leading to it is "unable to take additional traffic".

It does not mean that the developer cannot submit plans for the site, but it does mean they will be less likely to succeed, councillors have said.

Responding to the news, Emily Griffiths from Save The Meadows said: "We are delighted that Wiltshire Council appears to have listened to the people of Salisbury and agreed that the Britford Lane Meadows should be saved from development.

"We would like to thank the thousands of people, from across Salisbury and beyond, who have supported the campaign to protect this beautiful and historic landscape.

"We hope the landowners also listen to the people and abandon their plans to develop this conservation area."

Ward councillor Sven Hocking said it was "spectacularly good news" for people living around Britford Lane.

He warned that landowners could still apply for planning permission but said: "I suspect this weakens their position considerably.

"They will think twice before spending a colossal amount of money."

The Longford Estate has been approached for comment.