RESIDENTS have won their battle against a housebuilder who wanted to build an apartment block in Patcham.

McCarthy and Stone appealed to a government planning inspector after the city council rejected the application for the site on Old London Road.

But that appeal has been thrown out by the planning inspectorate because of the ‘negative impact on the character and appearance to the area.’

In June The Argus reported how 350 Patcham residents, along with ward councillors Lee Wares and Geoffrey Theobald, protest against the proposed three-storey apartment block for elderly people.

Around 100 people turned out at Brighton Town Hall to speak out against the application at the inquiry.

Resident Alistair Elliott led the protest group, Protect Patcham, and is delighted with the decision.

He said: “I feel a massive sense of relief. The past 18 months have been an emotional rollercoaster and often very stressful.

“What has been humbling for those of us living right next door to this proposed development is the support we have received from people further afield in Patcham and beyond.

“It shows what a strong community spirit there is that 350 people were prepared to object publicly to the plans.

“Around 150 people attended a public meeting when the plans came out last year and another 100 came to the public inquiry.

“People move to Patcham because they like it and then as the years go by they grow to love it and do not want to see its special charm and character destroyed.”

McCarthy and Stone advertised apartments online before even applying for permission, infuriating residents.

The prices advertised ranged from £339,000 to £453,000.

The housebuilder had previously applied for permission at Old London Road in 2004 but this was also rejected.

Cllr Wares was equally as happy as Mr Elliott with the inspector’s decision.

He said: “I’m delighted for residents who have had the worry of this development for years and I hope that McCarthy and Stone now call it a day.

“I can’t think of a worse location for the development that simply had no sympathetic thought given to the character and way of life in Patcham.”

In the inspectorate’s comments it said: “I consider that the proposed building would, by virtue of a combination of its scale, density, massing and width, be a dominant and over-bearing feature that would detract from the attractive suburban character of this part of Old London Road.

“That is now the end of the road for this application.”