Campaigners who organised a unique parish poll to voice their concerns about new housing development in Stratford-upon-Avon are celebrating after 98 per cent of voters backed their fight.
More than 3,000 people out of 18,000 eligible to vote visited polling stations on Tuesday to register their views on whether they wanted more housing in the Warwickshire town.
Organisers said 98 per cent voted 'no' when asked if the district council should release more land for further development.
Protester James Philpotts, of Residents Against Shottery Expansion, said he was pleased with the turnout.
Campaigner Martyn Luscombe said that while he accepted the poll result would not be legally binding for the council he hoped it would have some effect.
He said: "It's a tremendous result. Our objective was a resounding 'no' to district council policy and this was achieved. We said that the rate of house building could not be sustained and voters agree."
RASE has been battling with the district council since it announced plans to create 700 homes and a relief road near Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Shottery, doubling the size of the village.
The plans were originally shelved by the the council after it was told Stratford had reached its housing requirements.
But Tory councillors later won a motion to reserve the proposals in the district plan in an attempt to ward off the threat of legal action from housing developers.
The plans will now be put on hold until 2011.
Coun Stuart Beese ( Stratford Alveston), leader of the ruling Tory group, said: " Obviously we always take full notice of residents wishes, that goes without saying.
"Having said that the result of the poll is not unexpected. If you ask people in any town across the country if they want more housing you would expect the same result.
"Sadly the actual question was incorrect insofar as there is no housing quota for Stratford-upon-Avon town, rather we have a quota for the whole district. We haven't fulfilled that quota - we are 2,000 houses short, which will be built by 2011.
"I don't want any more housing. However, we are under Government guidelines in what we build."