Designers of a controversial new bridge in Stratford have been given the go-ahead to develop their vision.

Councillors have agreed that the preferred design needed to be taken further and a more detailed version developed.

Last month, members of the Warwickshire County Council cabinet moved that the decision on whether to agree to the bridge being built needed to be made by all councillors.

This resulted in them voting in favour of developing the plans for Design B, the design of choice, with 31 cabinet members voting in favour and ten against.

The scheme was submitted by Ian Ritchie Architects, Schlaich Bergerman & Partner, and featured plans for the "thinnest arch bridge in the world".

Coun Chris Saint, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for economic development, said: "I’m delighted that the council has approved further work on this scheme.

"It’s an integral part of the World Class Stratford development. A town like Stratford cannot stand still.

"There will be further consultation alongside new plans for open spaces beside the river, Waterside and Southern Lane.

"We have made a decision here which could influence the ability to attract future investment into Stratford and I believe we have made the right decision."

A spokesman for the council said proposals for a new pedestrian and cycle footbridge had been around for several years, stemming from the Transport Strategy and subsequent inclusion in Stratford District Council's Waterfront Master Plan in 2003.

But plans for the bridge have been the subject of controversy since they first emerged. Martyn Luscombe, spokesman for the pressure group Stratford Voice, said: "There is no desire for the bridge at all. From the county council's own consultation, it appeared that a majority of residents were against it."