A GLASS tower which would be visible from dozens of homes in and around Frampton on Severn can now be built after a planning decision was overturned.

Stroud District Council originally refused permission to extend the Art Deco-style building at Shipton Mill in Bridge Road to a height of 43 metres.

But a Government-appointed inspector approved the plans on appeal, claiming the tower – needed for a new method of cleaning grain to make flour – would not harm the character of the village.

Dozens of villagers campaigned against the plans when they were first revealed.

Parish council chairman John Howe said: "There will be a lot of angry and disappointed people in the village.

"In the right place it might be fine but it is going to be an extremely prominent feature not only in the village but in the surrounding area.

"It is going to be an entirely unsympathetic, alien structure, which will be as visible as Gloucester Cathedral down along the north Cotswold escarpment."

During a consultation on the plans, SDC received 38 letters of objection from villagers, a petition containing 550 signatures and an objection from the parish council.

SDC rejected the proposals in April, claiming the tower would be ‘overbearing and overshadowing’ on neighbouring homes, ‘out of scale’ and ‘intrude’ on the countryside.

But inspector Paul Griffiths claimed in a report that the extension would not be ‘overpowering or domineering’ because there would be some separation from nearby homes and the glazing would reduce its visual mass.

"The extended building would be a tall, strident statement that would be widely visible," he wrote. "However, I do not conflate visibility with harm.

"There is nothing inherently wrong with being able to see what I regard as a well-designed extension, that is appropriate in its immediate context, from a wider area."

District councillor John Jones (Con, Severn) said he was ‘disappointed’ but would have to accept the decision.

Mill owner John Lister said he needed to review the inspector’s report before making any plans and declined to comment further.

The permission includes several conditions to address additional fears in the village, including that the tower would allow employees to look into gardens, and would create light pollution, extra noise and traffic.

Construction must start within three years.