A DEVELOPER'S appeal against a decision to reject a controversial planning bid to build 90 houses at Scotby has been dismissed.

The Government’s independent Planning Inspectorate has formally rejected the appeal by Cheshire-based Gladman Developments after ruling that the proposed greenfield development near Scotby village green would "harm" the village’s character.

Residents who battled for three years against the plan - which locals argued would have spoiled the "cherished" greenfield site involved - said that they were delighted by the decision.

Gladman’s outline proposal was twice unanimously refused by Carlisle City Council planners.

Residents presented a 713-name petition, and there was also opposition from Carlisle MP John Stevenson and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The city council objected because the site, labelled Rookery Park by the developer, was specifically excluded from the authority’s 2015-2030 Local Plan for development because of the adverse landscape impact.

Villagers cited the site’s importance as part of ‘a cherished greenfield view’ towards the Pennines from the village green, where a viewpoint bench is sited.

The inspector, who made a site visit in June 16, said: “The main issue is the effect of the appeal proposal on the character and appearance of the area.”

He said that the housing plan would amount to a ‘prominent protrusion from the traditional central core of Scotby into the surrounding open countryside’.

“It would greatly urbanise and therefore alter how this edge of the village is read, including on approach to the village along the Scotby to Wetheral road,” he said.

“It would also reduce the extent to which the countryside provides an open, rural setting to the area around the village green.”

The inspector added: “In conclusion, the appeal proposal would cause considerable harm to the character and appearance of the area by reason of its inappropriate form, scale and landscape impact.”

Scotby resident Steve Johnston, for the Defeat Gladman @ Scotby campaign group, said: “The judgement fully vindicates a three year long fight by the community to protect the character of the village.”

Mr Stevenson, who wrote to express his concern to the Planning Inspectorate, earlier said: “I have always wanted the city to grow and recognise that the village is part of that growth.

“However, there has already been substantial development and more planned in Scotby as well as other villages, and we must not overbuild in these villages.

"This piece of land is not in the Local Plan and was in fact rejected by the city council. Most importantly, we have the prospects for a Garden Village and we must not undermine that in any way.”