Plans to demolish Rowledge’s century-old village hall and replace it with two new homes have been refused by council planners.

The proposal, by the village hall trustees, would have helped fund a new village hall already granted planning permission in Fullers Road.

But Waverley Borough Council’s head of planning Claire Upton-Brown ruled the two new four-bedroom homes “would constitute a cramped form of development of an alien appearance”.

This would have an “unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the immediate area”, she added.

Ms Upton-Brown’s decision notice also stated the “significant” oak tree on the southern boundary of the site would cast a shadow on the rear elevations of the units, “leading to an unacceptable reduction of adequate light to rear rooms for future occupiers”.

And she said the tree itself will be potentially lost from damage to its roots.

The new homes would also have an “unacceptable detrimental impact” on neighbouring homes from overbearing effects and overlooking.

And despite the promise of a new hall, granted planning permission by the same council last August, Waverley’s head of planning ruled “the proposed development would result in the loss of the community village hall as a community resource” contrary to local planning policy.

The hall trustees have previously stated the new hall is “contingent” on the old hall plans, and are now exploring other avenues for funding – seeking a huge £800,000 grant from Surrey County Council’s ‘Your Fund Surrey’.