A so-called ‘garden-grabbing’ development has been unanimously blocked by councillors.

Plans to build four five-bedroom houses on the site where one currently stands at 48 Church lane in Loughton was opposed by about 50 residents.

Epping Forest District Council Planning Sub-Committee unanimously rejected the application by Banner Homes on April 2.

This was after Loughton Town Council Planning Committee last month registered a "strong objection" to the the proposal, concluding it was not in line with government guidelines.

The campaign group Save Church Lane was led by Haward Kauffman.

Mr Kauffman, 50, of Church Lane, said: “It’s an alien and damaging form of development”

“There are no examples in the area of two houses sited behind each other looking directly into each other.”

“It would have set a dangerous precedent for garden–grabbing developments”

Caroline Loureda, 53, of nearby Wellfields, said: “I thought the decision was amazing and justice was served.

“The work that was put in really paid off.

“The problem was the scale of the development and it was not in nkeeping with the area.

“Two large houses at the front would be acceptable and in keeping with the other homes in the road.”