AN MP has welcomed the decision taken by a planning inspector to reject an appeal for five houses in Wickham Bishops.

Witham MP Priti Patel, whose constituency includes the village, supported residents opposing the development, which would have included five, five-bed houses on Handley's Lane, the appeal of which was dismissed earlier this month.

Ms Patel welcomed the inspector's findings, including his conclusions that the site was unsuitable for the development proposed, the development would erode the tranquillity and rural setting and would harm the character and appearance of the area.

Ms Patel said:“I commend the local community for coming together to object to these proposals and for putting such a strong case forward for the planning inspector to consider.

"The findings against the development were compelling and this decision has saved this site from a harmful development.

“Wickham Bishops has already experienced significant levels of new housing in recent years for a village of its size.

"New housing should be plan-led but this appeal was for a development proposal outside of the settlement boundary which would not have been in keeping with the character of the area.”