A developer’s planning application to demolish houses owned by his opponents was turned down last night by the council.

Lee Jose, of Third Dimension Group Ltd, has been in a five year planning dispute with residents of Bedford Road, South Woodford.

He had lodged a further planning application to demolish houses owned by people opposed to his plan, turned down repeatedly by the council, to build a four-storey block of flats in the street.

But Redbridge council’s planning committee refused permission for the outline planning application due to it being out of keeping with the area.

Sue Brown, 49, who lives in one of the houses, said: “This is great news. I hope this is the turning point and we can live in peace now, luckily the council has seen sense.

“I don’t know what is going to happen next but I really believe this could be the end of the matter because the council have said a firm no.

“I want to thank everyone for their support.”

Neighbours believe the application was being used to set a precedent, enabling him to press ahead with his original plan to gain permission for the four-storey development.

The application was withdrawn by Mr Jose in March but he lodged another plan to knock down the houses last month, adding in plans for parking and access onto Lansdowne Road, but this was refused yesterday.

Third Dimension Group Ltd has been contacted for a response.