We had a very similar experience. It seems extremely difficult to invoke any kind of oversight that would call in a project. Provided a town council is acting lawfully - publishing agendas with adequate notice that show what decisions it is thinking of making, holding meetings in public, etc - it can do pretty much whatever it likes.
Democratic action is the only sure fire route to blocking unwelcome actions. Given the timing, you need to get busy right away! Town and parish councils are all up for election on 5 May 2011, and candidate nominations have to be submitted by 4 April 2011. The reliable route to change is to have a big enough bunch of candidates who are willing to stand on a platform of opposing the plans you dislike, and then to get up a campaign for their election.
When problems arise away from election time, ten citizens can force a town meeting. The town meeting has no power, but a well attended town meeting can make feelings known, and can demand a poll of the town on an issue of concern. Even the poll is not binding on the council, but concerted action with petitions, meetings and so on may wear down recalcitrant council members resulting in either changes of heart or resignations. In the event of resignations, ten citizens can demand a by-election rather than allowing existing councillors to co-opt replacements.
It's hard work, but if the public support is there, it can be done. In our town, people acted to promote a petition, demanded a town meeting that was attended by nearly 10% of the entire population, saw some resignations and had a by-election where candidates opposing the project topped the poll. With a further resignation, the balance of the council was tipped against the project, which is now stopped.