CONTROVERSIAL plans for housing in Leigh Sinton have been thrown out by a government planning inspector.

Village residents were dismayed when the application, for ten houses off Hop Pole Green, was submitted last year.

The applicant was Lady Christabel Flight, a member of Westminster City Council and wife of former Tory MP Howard Flight.

Lady Flight lodged an appeal in the autumn, on the grounds that Malvern Hills District Council had failed to make a decision on the application in time.

And planning inspector Martin Whitehead has now ruled that the application should not be approved, saying that its position outside Leigh Sinton's settlement boundary meant it could not be regarded as sustainable development which should be allowed.

This week, Stephen Seymour of Leigh and Bransford Parish Council said residents were pleased with the inspector's decision.

He said: "It was quite surprising, after so many cases recently when planning inspectors have ruled in favour of developers.

"Ironically, when the district council discussed their application at their meeting in December, they decided that they would have approved it, so it looks like Lady Flight the would have done better not to go to appeal."