The scheme, submitted by Strata Homes, would have seen 196 homes built on 10.16 hectares of land off Chapel Way and Lambrell Avenue, along with 439 parking spaces.
Emma Ottewell, planning manager, told a meeting of the council’s planning board on June 10 that the land had been allocated for residential development in the local plan.
Applicant Claire Lindley said: “Large areas of open space will be retained as part of the scheme, which will be protected during the construction, and will allow any wildlife to continue to…forage in this area.”
Ms Lindley added that changes had been made to the scheme, following meetings with councillors, residents and planning officers, such as amending the road layout, providing a “specific mix” of affordable housing, inducing bungalows.
Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford objected to the plan, stating: “It is a mistake to allow our beautiful green spaces to be concreted over whilst there are brownfield sites in the borough which should be prioritised first.”
In a letter read out to the meeting, he stated that the countryside should be “cherished and preserved”, and that valid concerns were dismissed as “irrelevant”.
Councillor Dominic Beck also urged the board to reject the plan, citing a family of deer on the site and congestion in the village.
He told the meeting that the site is a “large nature conservation”, which is home to a family of deer.
“To say there will be a negligible impact on the road network is insulting and not true.”
Simon Moss, transport officer, said that the department was”content” that the transport assessment was “acceptable”.
The application was refused after four councillors voted in favour, and five voted against the scheme, on the grounds of highways and ecology concerns.