WINSFORD’S emerging neighbourhood plan stopped proposals being approved by planners.
The site, off Darnhall School Lane, falls in both Winsford and Darnhall and does not form part of the earmarked housing sites in the neighbourhood plan, which is expected to be voted on by the community in the New Year.
Developer Darnhall Estate submitted the proposal for 184 houses and it was debated at length by CWAC’s strategic planning committee on Thursday.
Clr Stephen Burns, from the Winsford, Swanlow and Dene ward, said: “There has been no consideration of how this fits in with plans for the rest of Winsford and Darnhall.”
He added: “Planning shouldn’t be decided by landowners and developers but by the wider community.”
Clr David Armstrong, also from the Winsford, Swanlow and Dene ward, said: “This application is an opportunist application trying to get permission in place before the window of opportunity is closed by the passing of Cheshire West and Chester’s Neighbourhood Plan.”
He added: “Winsford Town Council has already produced a Neighbourhood Plan, the second in Cheshire West and Chester which is currently in the process of examination by an inspector prior to a ratification vote early in 2014. “As part of that plan Winsford Town Council has identified the land for 3,500 houses required by Cheshire West.
“The town council has been very responsible in meeting its obligations and the area in this planning application does not form any part of that land.”
Officers warned that the emerging neighbourhood plan may not be a strong enough reason for refusal if the developer appeals the decision.
Clr Angela Claydon, committee member and Sheriff of Chester, said: “I have to say that if that’s what the law is, and the law is that we’ve got to allow everything, then why are we all sitting here?
“We’ve been out on a coach today looking at dozens of green fields.
“Why have we done that if the only thing we’re allowed to do or ought to do is let everything go through?”
The committee voted unanimously to refuse the application on the grounds that it was premature in the light of the emerging Winsford Neighbourhood Plan.