New housing secretary, James Brokenshire, has dismissed an appeal for a 1,000 home garden village on 60 hectares of mainly undeveloped green belt land between Walton-on-Thames and Molesey.

The proposed development would have had 50% affordable homes, and include new facilities and services such as a primary school, medical centre, local supermarket, pub and offices.

During the inquiry the local authority, Elmbridge Borough Council, acknowledged that it could only demonstrate a housing land supply of no more than 3.2 years.

The development was assessed against the five purposes of the green belt as listed in paragraph 80 of the NPPF. The housing secretary found that the scheme would “fragment a narrow band of green belt land” and erode the sense of separation between Walton-on-Thames and Esher.

Mr Brokenshire subsequently agreed with the Inspector’s opinion that the site should be classed as “countryside” and that the proposal would therefore represent encroachment into the countryside.