A project that would have helped to keep The Brewers Arms pub near Polstead "protected for years" has been refused planning permission.

The plans, submitted by the landlords of the pub, included seven homes, five holiday let cabins, a farm shop and improvements to the pub.

The Brewers Arms is located in the hamlet of Bower House Tye, Polstead.

Planning documents say that the project would've helped to "enable the public house to be protected for years to come".

The planning statement, prepared by Wilkinson Planning, said: "This scheme would offer a suitably scaled in-demand tourism and employment use which would enhance the commercial strength of the public house."

However, concerns over the "opportunistic" nature of the plans and no guarantee they would safeguard the pub, and the effect on future residents and heritage problems involving nearby buildings have led to the plans being refused by Babergh District Council.

The planning officer's report for the project said: "It is understood that the landowner and applicant have an informal agreement in place if the scheme is approved.

"The landowner needs the access to the public house to gain entry into the proposed site for building the seven dwellings.

"In exchange for this access the landowner would transfer land to the public house for the areas proposed for the holiday cabins, new car park area and land to the rear of the public house.

"The landowner would retain the land for the seven dwellings.

"This arrangement is not legally binding and cannot be relied upon as a material planning consideration.

"The development is to that extent opportunistic and provides no certainty that benefit in safeguarding the pub business will result.

"The applicant has tried to address heritage concerns by moving the development away from the listed buildings.

"In doing so, it has resulted in the cluster of new development jutting out into the countryside and separating it from the existing cluster of dwellings.

"The introduction of tourist accommodation and dwellings so close to the pub might foreseeably lead to tension between planning uses and the curtailment of activities within the beer garden to ensure acceptable neighbour amenity.

"The sustainability issues, heritage harm, landscape harm and potential loss of residential amenity are all reasons for refusal."

It is unclear whether or not the decision will be appealed or plans re-submitted.