CONTROVERSIAL plans to create a sprawling retirement village in the North Yorkshire countryside have already had a setback.

Local people are already up in arms about the project, which they have vowed to fight against.

But now the team behind the scheme have suffered another blow - albeit a temporary one.

Proposals for the 60-acre development between Thirsk and Northallerton were submitted to Hambleton District Council a week ago.

However they have since been returned to property consultants Carter Jonas on a technicality.

"The application was submitted last week, but it has been returned because there were lots of omissions, so it was not valid," said a council spokesman.

The application itself was bulky and consisted of several boxes of documents, however it is understood it is being resubmitted this week with the problems rectified.

The delay has meant that Thornton-le-Moor parish council - in which area the site lies - has not been able to formally vote on the issue yet.

However chairman Ian Woods insisted the council was firmly against the proposal - as was the majority of the village itself.

A special meeting of the council is likely to be called once the application has been resubmitted so a formal vote can be taken.

The proposals, put forward by local landowners Nigel and Judy Bell, would see the creation of a continuing care retirement community known as Thornton Fields.

It would be home to up to 450 people in some 300 apartments and cottages and would incorporate a wide range of facilities.

Mr Woods said: "There are major concerns for drainage and flooding risk, light pollution, traffic and transport impact, sustainability appraisal, impact on agricultural land, biodiversity impact and public footpaths and rights of way."