A church reverend has won a planning appeal against the council to build a two storey house in the grounds of his church.

Reverend Wayne Dulson at Loughton Baptist Church was initially refused permission by Epping Forest District Council to erect the two-storey building and create four extra parking spaces.

Now, following an appeal lodged with the planning inspectorate, permission has been granted.

Following the decision the proposed house will be set back in the northern corner of the church grounds.

During his findings planning inspector Christopher Tivey ruled that a new home in the church grounds would not be out of keeping with the local area and would not impose on neighbours.

He said: “I consider that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the area.

“I acknowledge the comments made with regard to other options to house the Church Minister, however, I can only determine the appeal before me on its own merits.”

During the proceedings Epping Forest District Council attempted to add a condition to the house to suggest that now, and in future, it may only be used by those working directly with the High Road church.

Mr Tivey added that he did not find the suggestion to be reasonable.

An application from Reverend Dulson for the award of costs was also refused.

The planning inspector found that the council had not behaved unreasonably in refusing planning permission in the first instance.

Loughton Baptist Church was at the centre of a building row last year when neighbours complained about being able to see graves being exhumed.

Building work was taking place as the church was extending to open a nursery.