The series’ pub The Bull is based on Inkberrow’s own 17th century inn The Old BullCredit:John Robertson Locals are alarmed at the prospect of Inkberrow’s growing population meaning they will lose their village status.Developer Bovis Homes has been granted planning permission to build 100 homes on a greenfield site at 28 Stonepit Lane next year, while Wychavon District Council have also given permission for up to 40 more houses on a separate site in the village.If the population rises much past 6,000 – which it is likely to do after the new development is finished – planners may be forced to reclassify it as a town. When The Archers first aired on January 1, 1951, Inkberrow had just 80 homes and a population of no more than 200.The village inspired the fictional Ambridge, while the series’ pub The Bull is based on Inkberrow’s own 17th century inn The Old Bull.According to its own community website, Inkberrow has more than 5,300 residents, making it “one of the largest villages in Worcestershire”, and the Office for National Statistics already defines Inkberrow as a “small town”. Its sleepy streets and 17th century pub inspired The Archers but for the residents of Inkberrow rural life may soon be over.For the village in Worcestershire, which is visited by thousands of fans of the BBC Radio 4 series every year, is in danger of becoming a “sprawling town” after developers were given the green light to build more than 100 homes. Planners have also given the go ahead for bollard lighting to be built, potentially spelling the end of the village’s tradition of being one of the only in the UK without street lamps. “A lot of people are asking where the development’s stop? Are we looking down the barrel of a sprawling town taking over our once beautiful village?”Putting up street lights, be it lampposts or these bollards, will also mean the end of another tradition in Inkberrow.”Addressing the issue of lighting, Cllr Steel added: “I have now have assurances that the proposed lights are of the bollard type and not street lighting as we know it and that the households will be responsible for the running of them and be able to turn them off if desired.” Locals are alarmed at the prospect of Inkberrow’s growing population meaning they will lose their village statusCredit:John Robertson The village inspired the fictional Ambridge But residents and local councillors are determined to retain Inkberrow’s village status.Audrey Steel, the Conservative councillor for Inkberrow, said: “Growth has kept it alive but it retains its village heart and I am vehemently against calling it a town.”John Rhodes, 45, said: “I think it is a shame that the housing development got the OK, but everyone was expecting it.”It will, inevitably, mean the village becomes a town which will be shame. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.