A BID to build new holiday lodges in the garden of a historic building has been refused.

An application for six holiday lodges in the garden area of Toppesfield Hall was refused by Braintree Council this week.

The buildings had been designed to replicate a woodland lodge which the applicant said would blend into the surroundings.

Each unit planned for the site, in Great Yeldham Road, was proposed to be used by families of up to five people for short vacations.

It was proposed for the lodges to be open all year round.

The applicant said the surrounding area would benefit “hugely” from the new holiday accommodation and hoped to promote attractions and businesses within the area through arrival packs.

They added: “We have laid the units out to provide each guest an experience to live in amongst the local wildlife and we are concentrated on not overpopulating the area which will deter any wild animals to visit.”

Toppesfield Hall is a Grade II listed, late 16th-century building which an Essex County Council historic buildings consultant said “is one of the principally important buildings within the parish”.

Place Services, the historic buildings consultant, recommended refusal due to the impact the six holiday lodges would have on the listed building.

This included a “stark contrast” in appearance, and the “intensity of development”.

The consultant also said the scheme would “neither preserve nor enhance the setting” of the building and would “detract” from its significance.

Braintree Council refused the plans as it said the site is located beyond a village envelope where development is strictly controlled.

It said there was no sufficient evidence to prove demand for holiday accommodation in the area.

Council bosses said the proposal would also result in a level of “less than substantial harm” to the significance of the listed building by way of “inappropriate development within its setting”, which could not be justified.