The final nail in the coffin for a plan to build 200 homes on land outside a Berkshire village has been struck as an appeal to get them approved has been dismissed.

The decision is being celebrated by the local council and its lawyers after the government’s planning inspectorate ruled in its favour.

Housebuilders Mactaggart and Mickel were hoping to build 200 homes on a large field east of Lodge Road in Hurst which would have been called the Lodge Green development.

The homes would have been made up of 16 one-bed flats, 38 two-bed flats, 25 two-bed homes, 57 three-bed homes, and 64 four-bed homes, with 40 per cent of the development being affordable.

The developer’s planning agents Boyer argued it was seeking to create ‘a beautiful and timeless neighbourhood that links with the rest of the village through new green corridors’.

But the plan was the subject of a spirited campaign by neighbours, who called for the local planning authority Wokingham Borough Council to ‘Save Our Village’ by rejecting the scheme.

Bracknell News: Banners put up by the 'Save Hurst' campaign, which is opposing a plan for 200 homes off Lodge Road. Credit: Paul KingBanners put up by the 'Save Hurst' campaign, which is opposing a plan for 200 homes off Lodge Road. Credit: Paul King

The council’s planning department sided with the campaigners, arguing the site is unsustainable and would result in the loss of land which is defined as Best and Most Versatile agricultural land.

The outline plan for the development was refused by Marcia Head, head of development management, in June last year.

But Mactaggart and Mickel were hoping to overturn the decision in an appeal to the government’s planning inspectorate.

During the appeal, the developers argued that the plan should be approved as Wokingham Borough Council cannot demonstrate a five year land supply, which is calculated based on the amount of new homes being built and the amount of land allocated for development within an area’s Local Plan.

But the argument was rebuffed by Matt Lewin of Cornerstone Barristers who represented Wokingham Borough Council.

Mr Lewin and the council argued, that, while it could only demonstrate a 3.95 year land supply, it has presided over a significant over-delivery of housing compared with the housing requirement in its local plan.

Ultimately, planning inspector David Wilsmith dismissed the appeal, noting that the Lodge Green site falls outside the settlement boundary of Hurst in an unsustainable location.

Bracknell News: The masterplan for the 200 homes off Lodge Road in Hurst. Credit: BoyerThe masterplan for the 200 homes off Lodge Road in Hurst. Credit: Boyer

Mr Wilsmith ruled that the scheme would ‘substantially harm’ the council’s vision for the development of the area.

Celebrating the result, a member of the ‘Say No Save Hurst’ campaign wrote on Facebook:  “Well done all those that contributed both time and finances to this appeal. Thanks to all the “SAY NO Group” for their hard work and dedication campaigning, hours of time spent working to fight this appeal.”

You can view the appeal using reference APP/X0360/W/22/3309202 and the refused application by typing reference 220458 into Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal.