PEACE has broken out at the end of one of the longest planning battles in the area’s history, with agreement for 24 new homes in a conservation area.

For more than three years developer Telford Homes has been trying to secure permission for three blocks of flats and a semi-detached house on the site of the former Chepstow House in Leicester Road, Wanstead.

Telford finally won permission from Redbridge Council at its fourth attempt after thrashing out an agreement over its plans with the Counties Residents’ Association (CRA) and the Wanstead Society.

CRA treasurer Malcolm Dowers, of Leicester Road, said: “We have been working with Telford for longer than Big Society has been around, but this is an example of that working and we congratulate Telford for that.

“And we congratulate them for their decision to finally reason with, rather than being in opposition to, the residents.

“They realised they were not going to beat us into submission.”

There was further good news for campaigners when plans were turned down to replace Bedford House, in Bedford Road, South Woodford, with eight flats.

Neighbours have been at loggerheads with LJ Construction over the Bedford Road development since 2008, and they secured a victory in getting the latest scheme rejected due to excessive density, and inadequate number of off-street parking places.

But Lee Jose, of LJ Construction, remained defiant and said the scheme would eventually get the go-ahead because it had been strongly recommended for approval by officers.

He told the Guardian: “They turned it down because they said there were not enough parking spaces, but we have agreed to provide four bays and most people use public transport around there anyway.”

He warned that the council would be forced to pay for the cost of an appeal if he was successful, adding: “At a moment in time when councils are supposed to be tightening their belts, it seems very strange that the councillors should reject it because now we will be going for their cash.

“I am not in a war against the people round there. They are nice people. But I think at appeal we will win.”