PLANS to build a state-of-the-art eco-friendly house and forest school on protected land have been refused by two votes after the fifth time of trying.

David Norris’s proposal for the zero-carbon scheme in Egerton, which includes plans for an outdoor learning area for local schools, were thrown out by the planning committee again yesterday.

Councillors disagreed on whether the development was sufficiently unique to make an exception and allow a house to be built on the green belt site.

Mr Norris, who has spent tens of thousands of pounds on the project since 2015, argued that 97 percent of the land at Higher Critchley Fold Barn would be enhanced and the house would not affect the openness of the green belt.

Bromley Cross councillor Nadim Muslim told the committee that the proposal has the support of all three councillors in the area, partly due to the facilities it would provide local schools.

Mr Norris now awaits the outcome of an appeal he made to the national planning inspectorate.