LAND bordering historical sites in Rayleigh has been saved from development.

Rochford District Council threw out plans for three houses on land off London Hill.

The site, which borders the historic National Trust site of Rayleigh Mount, a garden connected to the Grade IIlisted Rayleigh Windmill and homes in London Hill and Hillview Road, is part of Rayleigh’s conservation area.

Rayleigh Town Council objected to the plan, citing concerns over extra traffic and said the scheme would have a detrimental effect on the landscape.

Essex County Council’s archaeology team, English Heritage and Natural England all raised concerns about the development and the National Trust also objected.

John Griffin, Conservative councillor for Wheatley ward, tabled the motion to reject the application.

Mr Griffin raised fears about the loss of green space.

He said: “I am a bit perplexed as to why these houses are being recommended within the conservation area.

“It goes against the policy of this council. There is not much green space left in that area and once it is built on it is gone for ever.”

The application was rejected at a development control meeting.

Frank Aylard, 74, of London Hill, represented more than 20 residents who would have been affected by the new houses.

Mr Aylard told the meeting: “We are very pleased in the short-term.

“But this has been going on so long we are a little dubious.

"The owners may put in an appeal.

“Over the last 15 years there have been 13 applications made.

“The owners are sitting on a very valuable piece of real estate.

“But I have lived on London Hill for 47 years.

“I, and many other residents, moved there because it was not overlooked so we are very pleased it has been rejected.”