CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a housing estate in a conservation area have been knocked back for a third time.

An application to build 65 houses near Trinity Road, in Mistley, was first lodged to Tendring Council in 2011.

The applicant, then submitted an updated detailed design and access statement for the homes in 2018 which sparked concern among residents.

Two years later, the council decided to reject the application.

An appeal was lodged by the applicant to the planning inspectorate and that has now also been dismissed.

Environmental fears are central to the objections with the area falling both within a designated green gap and the Manningtree and Mistley conservation area.

In the appeal statement, the developer said: “The location of the proposed housing, in the north eastern corner of the site, off Trinity Road, will not result in an overall urbanisation of the site as a whole.

“Instead, the appellant asserts, this modest amount of housing will read as an infill of development fronting Trinity Road and will encroach only modestly into the open area to the west.”

However, the inspector did not agree.

He said: “This quite scenic area of undulating green space is of some local landscape value, particularly within the aspects from surrounding homes.

“The green gap designation is long-standing, to be carried through in the emerging plan, and preserves a valuable degree of openness, greenery and spatial relief within an otherwise extensive and expanding built-up part of Manningtree, Lawford and Mistley.

“The proposal would substantially erode this openness causing significant harm.”

A spokesman for Save The Green Gap, a community group which campaigned against the plans, said: “We are overjoyed this land will not be built on.

“It forms such an important green space which separates the areas of housing.

“The Green Gap provides great views over the landscape and the Stour Estuary for many residents and is a superb area for wildlife.”

“The further spread of housing development would, as a consequence of this proposal, detract from the traditionally spacious character of this historic edge of settlement location, creating a dense, unsympathetic suburb in its place.”

Mistley parish councillor William Meston was also pleased the bid for more houses failed.

He said: “I am delighted it has been turned down because there are far too many houses being built in the area and they are squeezing them in.”

Councillor Philip Cunningham added: “I am pleased the appeal was unsuccessful and the historical heritage of that site will now be protected.”