A FLY-ON-THE-WALL documentary that lifts the lid on the work of Cheshire West and Chester Council's planning department is coming back for a second series.

BBC2's The Planners covered the Cheshire council along with other local authorities in an eight-episode run which aired earlier this year.

Now The Planners is back filming, just in time to capture the ongoing battle between supporters and opponents of the divisive student village proposal being targeted at the green belt between Blacon and Mollington.

The BBC says the show tells the story ‘through the eyes, ears and drawings of the planners themselves’, adding: “These are the people who can make homeowners’ dreams come true – or bring them crashing down.”

The last series featured stories such as that of retired GPs Basil and Rachel Thompson who succeeded in gaining permission for solar panels on the garage of their Chester home in the shadow of the city walls, against the recommendations of the conservation officer.

Other issues covered included local opposition to plans by house builders to build 500 homes on greenfield land at Tattenhall.

Another episode followed a planning enforcement officer as he tackled a homeowner in Huxley who had been unlawfully dumping rubbish in his garden for more than 20 years.

A total of 14 vehicles, 30 bicycles, 700 tyres and 30 bus or coach seats were removed as part of a major clean-up operation.

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed: “The series has been recommissioned and we have started filming again with Cheshire West and Chester.”

She added that the student village issue ‘sounds like it could be one that we could feature in series two’.