GREEN belt land at Bowers Gifford has been saved from development.

Residents campaigning against Meridian Strategic Land’s plans for 750 houses off Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford, waited four months for the Secretary of State’s decision following a public inquiry.

Basildon Council refused the application in September, but Meridian, on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Pension Fund who bought the land for a reported £4.2m, appealed the decision.

Secretary of State, Eric Pickles backed the planning inspectorate’s recommendation on Tuesday to refuse Meridian’s appeal to build on the land at Little Chalvedon Hall Farm off Homestead Road.

The decision found the development of the land would be inappropriate, harm the green belt and increase traffic volumes to an unacceptable level.

Full story in Thursday’s Echo.