Plans to build 40 retirement flats in a village have been rejected once again as a planning inspector has turned down an appeal by the developer.

Campaigners have been battling over the last year against McCarthy and Stone’s proposals to redevelop four cottages in Hempstead Road, next to the lower common conservation area in Kings Langley.

A petition signed by more than 2,000 residents was given to MP for Hemel Hempstead Mike Penning at the end of last year.

The application was refused by Dacorum Borough Council's development committee on December 14 but the developers appealed against the decision.

Paul Rees, who has been campaigning against the proposals, said it was “excellent news” that the appeal has been thrown out.

He said: "The development would have ruined the character of the common conservation area for ever - destroying the sense of sense of peace and tranquillity that hundreds of villagers enjoy on the common every single day.

"The strength of opposition to the proposals was overwhelming, with more than 2,000 people signing our petition against the plans, and dozens of people writing in with their objections to Dacorum Borough Council and the Planning Inspector.

"Hopefully, having had their shocking and inappropriate proposals rejected by the parish council, the borough council, and the now the Planning Inspector, McCarthy and Stone will finally get the message that their plan to cram in a huge and dense development on the edge of Kings Langley's common conservation area is not wanted or welcome.

"This decision has restored the faith of many villagers in our democratic institutions, and we are very grateful to our local MP Sir Mike Penning and our local county councillor Richard Roberts, who have both supported our campaign from the very beginning."

A spokesperson for McCarthy and Stone said: “McCarthy and Stone were obviously disappointed with the Inspector’s decision which failed to recognise that there is clearly an overwhelming need for this type of specialist housing within the local area.

“This has been further supported by the high level of enquiries we have received from potential purchasers for the Kings Langley proposal.”