A HOUSING development which would have increased the size of Bosbury by almost 50 per cent has been refused planning permission.

The Church Commissioners for England wanted to build 46 homes on land west of Upper Court Road in Bosbury, near Ledbury.

Herefordshire Council's Planning Committee heard on Wednesday the site was outside the village's conservation area.

But chairman of Bosbury and Coddington Parish Council, Patrick Whitehead said with 100 houses in the village, the new development would increase the size by 46 per cent, which is above the recommended 14 per cent.

He said it was a "disproportionate" development and would detract from the character of the village and disrupt the linear lay out.

Resident Matt Hosking said a neighbourhood plan has been drawn up, which has been sent to Herefordshire Council.

The applicant's agent, Ben Simpson, said the site chosen is deemed appropriate for a sustainable development, and would help towards the council's five year shortfall of housing.

But Cllr Jonathan Lester said: "I think we have to hold our nerve and stand against the five year housing supply reason."

Cllr Barry Durkin said Bosbury is an "iconic Herefordshire village" with a grade I listed bell tower, and the development was too big.

Cllr Mark Hubbard added: "It is an outline planning application for a lot of Wimpey homes which is causing Bosbury to miss a heart beat."

It was refused on the grounds it would spoil the character and setting of the village.