VILLAGERS are celebrating after councillors rejected plans to build executive homes on Green Belt land.

The proposals would have seen nine exclusive homes built on land off Sleetburn Lane, on the outskirts of Langley Moor, near Durham City.

Durham County Council planning officials concluded the scheme would have represented inappropriate development on the Durham City Green Belt and recommended planning permission be denied.

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Pamela Cowey, who lives nearby, claimed the developers, a Mr and Mrs Coates, had failed to demonstrate there were any special circumstances to justify incursion into the Green Belt.

A spokesman for the developers said the site made little contribution to the Green Belt and the economic benefits of the estate would outweigh any potential impact on the countryside.

However, Councillor Mark Davinson moved refusing the scheme, a motion seconded by Coun David Freeman.

Coun Freeman said the Green Belt was precious and the proposals were inappropriate and represented encroachment into the countryside.

The committee refused planning permission unanimously.

Afterwards, Mrs Cowey said: “We’re ecstatic.

“The council has made absolutely the correct decision. They have listened to what the residents had to say.”