A decision to refuse 200 homes at Hurst has been backed by a planning inspector.

Wokingham Borough Council turned down Mactaggart & Mickel Homes England’s plans for developing a 10.68-hectare site east of Lodge Road Hurst in June 2022.

The developer’s appeal has now been thrown out after and eight day public enquiry in which it argued the council’s lack of a five-year land supply should be considered.

Inspector David Wildsmith said: “Even though the council is currently unable to demonstrate a deliverable five-year housing land supply, I don’t consider it reasonable to ignore the bigger picture, which is a very strong likelihood that the council will achieve a significant oversupply.

“To my mind, this does not signify a council that is failing in terms of housing provision, but rather one which is performing well and managing to boost the supply of housing over that which it planned for.”

Hundreds of locals had opposed the scheme along with Hurst Parish Council.

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and Local Plan, said: “We’re delighted at this confirmation that we can defend ourselves from unsuitable, speculative development, even when we can’t technically show a five-year housing land supply, and pleased to have stopped irreversible change to the character of this rural community.

“Despite what some have wrongly concluded, we still have a valid Local Plan that runs until 2026 – and this decision supports our case, which we will cite if we’re challenged in this way again.”

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