Councillors have rejected plans to build 150 homes in a Spalding village, which the local MP called “crudely-designed” and “excessive”.
South Holland District Council previously deferred Persimmon Homes’ plans for land off High Road, Weston, after concerns over the number of private drives, car parking arrangements and the location of the bin collection points.
However, after Persimmon chose to only make changes to the bin collection points, on Wednesday night councillors voted seven votes to six against approving the proposals, on the grounds of design and an excessive number of collection points.
Officers had recommended approval and said the changes would mitigate any impact on visual amenity. They said they could not conclude parking arrangements were unacceptable and that they were “unlikely” to be defendable reasons for refusal.
Legal advice to the council said issues connected to sewage and flooding could not be used to refuse the plans.
Despite this, councillors still had concerns over the design and said the development was out of character.
Councillor Jack Tyrell said: “It seems to me the developer has made very little attempt to address the issues and make alterations, one change of a collection point and a bit of fluffy hygiene around it is not good enough.”
Councillor Christine Lawton, however, said councillors were “on a sticky wicket” on design and noted there were alterations in place and measures in place.
“We’ve seen some really bad designs, we have passed them and is difficult to say we could get this on design,” she said.
The village’s parish council and a number of residents had objected to the plans, citing concerns including over-development of the village, the loss of agricultural land and traffic and safety issues.
Spalding MP Sir John Hayes and ward councils have also expressed concerns over the plans.
Mr Hayes said the application was “so out of tune to local people’s wishes”, “out of keeping with national policy” and “excessive in its character”.
“This application is the worst kind of large-scale, crudely-designed, crassly-constituted planning application,” he said.
Councillor Chris Dicks, Weston Parish Council chairman said there were already 200 homes planned for the village and said this proved residents were not against planning applications in general.
However, he added: “Developments of this size will undoubtedly affect village life as we know it.”
The development included 38 homes classed as ‘affordable’ and would have been a mix of one to four-bed properties.
Katy Dowling, development planner for Persimmon Homes speaking in support of the application, said it was “wholly compliant with policy”.
She said: “The scheme will benefit the wider community with affordable housing, good open space and contributing to the supply of housing for Weston.”
The developer had agreed to make contributions totalling £760,928 to health and education in the area.