A MOTHER-of-five held back tears of joy as councillors voted to reject an application that would see three new houses built behind her home.

Jo O’Connor, along with other residents, feared that the development on land rear of Plough Steep in Main Road, Itchen Abbas, would be overbearing, out of keeping with its historic surroundings and unaffordable. Fifty people objected.

The site, which lies in the South Downs National Park, is home to a Bronze Age burial mound which councillors feared would be ruined by the build.

Cllr Kim Gottlieb, Itchen Valley representative, urged the committee to reject the application.

He said: “If this is approved it sends out the message that we don’t care about sympathetically expanding our villages and are just cramming houses in wherever we can.”

Councillors raised concerns about natural habitats and drainage. Eight voted to reject the plan. One voted to approve.