The government has rejected an appeal to build 50 new homes in Whitehaven - due to road safety fears.

Copeland Council's planning panel refused the proposed development to the south of Elizabeth Crescent, Bay Vista, in July last year.

More than 100 residents objected to the proposal, raising concerns over road safety.

An appeal was lodged to the Planning Inspectorate by applicant, Harras Park Estates, against the council's decision to refuse the application.

But the government agency has thrown out the appeal so the development will not go ahead.

Inspector John Dowsett said the main issue was the effect it would have on highway safety.

Those against the development have welcomed the decision.

Don Haslett, who lives on Elizabeth Crescent, helped set up a residents' group to fight the scheme.

He said: "As residents we are absolutely delighted at the result. We felt it was the only result with the health and safety aspects with the junction and the estate. There were so many residents concerned."

Graham Roberts, mayor of Whitehaven, who spoke out against the proposal at the time, said: "I think it's right and proper that the Planning Inspectorate knocked it back. The access is intolerably bad and we can't put people's lives at risk.

"Access was one of the main reasons the development was flawed. It's not a runner."

Mr Dowsett's appeal decision states: "It has not been demonstrated that the junction with Victoria Road would continue to operate safely were the development to proceed, taking into account the traffic speeds and the restricted visibility at the junction.

"The proposed development would cause harm to highway safety in the vicinity of the appeal site."

Mr Dowsett said that the applicant's estimate of a 38 per cent traffic increase was incorrect, and this was more likely to be around 60 per cent.

"This would result in a significant increase in the number of vehicle movements through the junction," he said.

"Whilst the evidence suggests that the junction is operating safely at present, despite not meeting the current visibility requirements, there is no compelling evidence that would demonstrate the traffic flows would not result in an increased risk of accidents at the Victoria Road junction."

He added that although the scheme would increase housing supply and bring some economic benefits, harm to highway safety was a "serious matter".