CONTROVERSIAL plans to open a yoga studio on a road plagued by parking problems have been rejected by councillors.

More than 25 neighbours objected to plans to build a two-storey yoga and pilates studio on the site of a single-storey storage garage in Forest Road, Loughton.

Many have spent years battling for residents-only parking permits and said the development would put further pressure on spaces.

Other concerns included noise, overlooking of neighbours' gardens and potential harm to forest birds and a nearby bat roost.

District council planning officers had recommended the plans for approval – but councillors at a meeting of the planning subcommittee last night refused to grant permission.

A council spokeswoman said the committee had objected to the design of the planned studio.