PLANNERS have approved a controversial backland housing development in a Winchester suburb.

Richard Wickins proposed knocking down a bungalow at Hazelwood, 29 Downside Road, Weeke and building three houses.

There were 26 letters of objection as well as one from the City of Winchester Trust.

Objections included an overloading of the area’s infrastructure, a loss of green space, increased traffic and a dilution of local distinctiveness.

Two previous similar applications for two new dwellings were refused at planning committee, partly because it did not demonstrate effective use of the land.

The previous scheme was for two five-bed homes. But third time lucky the committee has approved the latest scheme, for one five-bed and two three-bed homes.