LADY Wakeham has lost an appeal over converting a farmworkers’ hostel into a home near her house near Alresford.

The wife of a former cabinet minister, Lady Wakeham applied for the change of the hostel at Pinglestone Farm. She wants it to be affordable housing but she retains the right to say which tenants would live there.

Lady Wakeham told the appeal that the opportunity to have a new low-cost social housing “should not be lost on the basis of over zealous application of criteria when it is quite clear that a change of use could bring back an empty house in to immediate beneficial use”.

The planning inspector George Arrowsmith said he had sympathy for Lady Wakeham but agreed the change would conflict with the policy of resisting development in the countryside without adequate justification.