Controversial plans to build a crematorium in an Aylesbury suburb have been sent back to the drawing board by senior judges at the Court of Appeals.

Aylesbury Vale District Council granted planning permission for a crematorium to be built on land at Watermead, on the edge of Aylesbuy, in June 2015.

Watermead Parish Council fiercely objected the development and fought tooth and nail through the courts to block it.

Today (March 20), the Court of Appeals has sent Aylesbury Vale District Council and would-be developers Crematoria Management Ltd, back to square one.

Lord Justice Lindblom ruled the district council had based its decision on a flawed interpretation of flood risk policies.

The judge said national planning policies were geared towards meeting the challenges of climate change and flooding.

A "sequential test" laid down by the government steered developments towards areas with the lowest risk of flooding.

The proposed crematorium was on land beside a disused ski slope, near Watermead Lake, that was known to have flooding problems.

The River Thame flows through the site and the council knew that flooding of the crematorium's car park was likely during winter months.

The crematorium was to replace The Riviera, a two-storey restaurant and car park for 145 vehicles already on the land.

Because the site had already been built on, a planning officer had advised the council that the sequential test did not apply.

Lord Justice Lindblom, sitting with Lord Justice Patten, ruled that advice was "defective in law" and misled the council.

That error had a knock-on effect on the council's consideration of whether the crematorium would be a "sustainable development".

The planning permission was quashed and the district council will now have to consider the proposals afresh.

Watermead Parish Council chairman, Sue Severn, said: "The parish council is delighted with this judgement, which has taken us through many legal hoops, since 2014, when the original application was made.

"Our position has always been, and still is, that this is the wrong development, in the wrong place."

The battle between the council and those in favour of the crematorium has been bitter with leaflets written by 'concerned AVDC ratepayers' accusing the parish council of wasting time and money.

They also accused the parish council of blocking access to the site. The council in turn accused the authors of the leaflet of working for those who have a vested interest in the crematorium being constructed.