Controversial plans to build four homes in close proximity to a cemetery have been thrown out.

The proposals put forward by Jon Nash involved building new houses on land off Colchester Road, which is located next to Halstead Cemetery.

Planning permission had already been granted to build eight homes on the site last summer, with three homes being built to the rear, which backs on to the cemetery. A further five homes will be built on the east side of the land.

After receiving planning permission, the applicant altered the plans due to fears the three houses at the rear of the site would not be viable and instead proposed building four taller, three-bedroom houses.

Halstead Town Council had strongly objected to the fresh plans on grounds of over intensification of the site and a lack of sensitivity to the historic environment of the site with regard to the height of the proposed buildings.

Braintree Council has agreed with this view and rejected the plans due to concerns the alterations would have a significant impact on Halstead Cemetery.

In a statement, the planning officer overseeing the application said: “As a result of its effect on views out from the adjacent cemetery the proposal would be harmful to the setting of the Grade II listed Cemetery Lodge and the buildings within its curtilage.

“The council recognises the benefits of additional land for housing but it considers that the limited public benefit arising from the proposal would not outweigh the harm that would be caused to the significance of the heritage asset.”

It is unknown whether the applicant will appeal the decision or will now use the planning permission granted last summer and build the original eight homes planned.