Councillors have overturned the recommendation of planning officers by approving plans to build 18 homes on the edge of a Suffolk village - after pleas for affordable housing.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee gave the go ahead for developer Ruby Homes (East Anglia)’s proposal to build the properties on land close to Pear Tree Place in Great Finborough.

Planners had called for the scheme to be rejected on the basis that the homes would not "maintain the vitality" of the rural community, while the new homeowners would need to drive to access services, facilities and employment.

But on Wednesday, the committee heard representations from local councillors appealing for the homes to be built because of the lack of affordable housing in the area.

Of the planned 18 homes, nine will be affordable.

Councillor John Matthissen, whose Onehouse ward includes Great Finborough, spoke in favour of the development.

Following the meeting, he said the affordable homes "positively outweighed the negative of the unsustainable location".

He reflected on the arguments that the location was not sustainable because of a lack of shopping facilities and an infrequent bus service.

But he said: “The view was that the balance was altered away from refusal in favour of approval because people thought the affordable homes were a considerable benefit.”

Mr Matthissen added the village had not had any affordable homes for "about 15 years" when there was previously a "sizeable development" in Great Finborough.

The development is set to provide two one-bedroom homes, five two-bedroom homes, six three-bedroom homes and five four-bedroom homes.

Associated infrastructure and landscaping will also be provided, along with public open space and attenuation ponds.

The plans have also received the backing of Great Finborough Parish Council.

In a statement, the council said: “Great Finborough Parish Council have no objection to this application based on the information available at this time.”