YOU can knock down the vicarage but cannot replace it with two four-bedroom homes. That is the message Test Valley councillors sent to developers behind the scheme at Ampfield’s former vicarage in Knapp Lane.

Borough Southern Area committee members unanimously voted against giving permission to Brookeswood Developments’ proposals, which are within Ampfield Conservation Area – despite planning officers recommending the green light.

Councillors threw Brookeswood’s latest scheme out on the grounds that it would “adversely affect the spatial character” of the area and it does not comply with listed building and conservation area policies.

Ampfield Parish Council and Romsey and District Society objected to the scheme. Both claimed the proposals would lead to “overdevelopment” of the site.

Neighbours also objected.