Councillors have been praised for making a stand and refusing to allow homes to be built in a Fylde village.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee voted against a recommendation to approve the scheme for seven bungalows on land in Staining.
They were told the site, to the rear of Broad Oak Lane, was only half a kilometre from a key nature reserve and site of special scientific interest (S.S.S.I.) at Marton Mere which could be adversely affected by the development.
Residents also warned they feared the scheme might trigger flooding in that part of the village, which lies within Blackpool’s boundaries.
Staining resident Amanda Cousins told the meeting; “There is evidence of great crested newts less than 100 metres from the proposed site.
“If we allow the building to go ahead adjacent to the S.S.S.I., we risk opening the floodgates and it is important for future generations that we preserve our natural wetlands and bio-diversity.”
Other objectors to the application said they were concerned drainage measures would be inadequate leading to potential flooding problems. However planners, who had recommended the application for approval, said there was no evidence of newts on the site and that improvement works to the local watercourse might serve to ease some of the drainage problems in the area.
There is also a presumption in favour of housing development because Blackpool does not have a five-year housing supply plan in place.
After the meeting, Staining councillor John Singleton praised the committee for refusing the application. He said: “I think there were great concerns over the flooding issues and we have to commend Blackpool Council for its stance.”
The item was deferred until the next meeting when the committee will formally agree its reasons for refusing the application.