Controversial plans to build three blocks of flats on a former school site have been thrown out, to the delight of jubilant campaigners.

Planning officers at Southend Council have refused permission for a 20-flat development and three-storey house to be built on the site of the old St George's school, at 33 Hadleigh Road, Leigh.

The proposal caused uproar among residents who thought it was a massive overdevelopment of the area and feared it would cause traffic and potential landslip problems.

Andy Baucutt, 43, of Hadleigh Road, said: "We are very pleased but we are also being realistic. It would be lovely if they restored the building but we know they are not going to do that.

"We are pleased they have thrown it out as the proposal was ridiculous."