Glebelands in Benfleet will remain green belt land after a High Court ruling threw out a developer's appeal to build 165 homes there.

Developers Fox Land and Property took their development to the top court after Local Government Minister Eric Pickles turned down its proposals at the planning appeal stage.

A High Court showdown took place in December, but Mr Justice Blake has agreed with Mr Pickles' ruling on the 7.4 hectare site - to the relief of campaigners.

Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for Castle Point, said: “I have just heard the High Court has found in favour of the Secretary of State Eric Pickles on the Glebelands planning appeal.

"I am glad the judge agreed with me and the Secretary of State that the council’s lack of a viable five year housing supply should not outweigh the harm to virgin green belt that this application would have caused."

For the full story, see Monday's Castle Point Echo.