A major housing development that campaigners feared would “destroy the peace and tranquillity” of the Chiltern AONB has been turned down by Wycombe District Council.

Little Studdridge Farm in Stokenchurch could have been turned into 140 homes, but plans put forward by West Waddy ADP were rejected by planners because they failed to “protect the rural character” of the area.

As well as new homes, there would have been a communal hub for elderly people, retail space and a public open space.

The Open Spaces Society - Britain’s oldest national conservation body – objected to the plans along with Stokenchurch and Ibstone Parish Councils, the Chiltern Society and residents.

The Ibstone Action Group also slammed the plans, saying the development would increase traffic on narrow roads and that the village’s infrastructure could not support a population that would be increased by 150 per cent.

Anneliese Vladar, who lives in nearby Mill Road in Stokenchurch, said the village’s medical centre is already under “serious extreme pressure” and that her road suffers with sewerage problems.

She added: “Increased traffic on a relatively narrow unlit country lane is dangerous for both pedestrians and wildlife. This is a beautiful wooded area with deer and housing access down that road will hurt the environment and wildlife.”

Responding to the district council’s rejection of the plans, Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: We were deeply concerned that this major development would destroy the peace and tranquillity of this part of the AONB.

“We were also opposed to the adverse effect it would have on people’s enjoyment of the nearby public footpaths and the eyesore it would create.

“It would have generated much additional traffic on Ibstone Road, which is used a great deal by walkers, horse-riders and cyclists to connect to other public paths in the area. They would have been at risk from the extra traffic.

“We are delighted that Wycombe District Council has refused this damaging application.”

Wycombe District Council’s planning department also highlighted that the housing estate failed to conserve the “landscape and natural beauty” in the Chilterns AONB and did not respect the “character and sense of place” of Stokenchurch.

They also worried that its remoteness from major built-up areas would mean residents had to rely on cars.

The developers can now appeal against the decision to the secretary of state.