YOU can knock down the vicarage, but you can’t replace it with two four-bedroom homes.

That’s the message Test Valley councillors sent to developers behind proposals for Ampfield’s former vicarage, within the village’s conservation area at Knapp Lane.

Test Valley Borough Council’s Southern Area committee members unanimously voted against Brookeswood Developments’ application despite planning officers recommending approval. TVBC’s deputy leader Martin Hatley said: “The proposals would adversely affect the spatial characteristics of this particular sensitive part of the Ampfield Conservation Area. And the plans would neither, preserve or enhance the conservation area, or the setting of the attractive historic building, Monks Barn, next to the application site.”

Mr Hatley added: “Although the current building lacks kerbside appeal, it is not an excuse for the developer to shoehorn in two dwellings that don’t complement the existing street scene.”

Brookeswood Developments was given permission to demolish the redundant 1960s built vicarage last August.

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