Residents and protesters were delighted this afternoon when councillors voted to refuse plans for up to 480 houses on the edge of Grantham.
The development control committee at South Kesteven District Council voted 14 in favour of refusal of the outline plan with one against and one abstaining.
About 40 members of the public filled the back of the council chamber for the meeting and another room had to be opened downstairs to let more view proceedings on a screen.
Developer Larkfleet wants to build the houses on land off Manthorpe Road and Belton Lane at Manthorpe.
But most members of the committee sided with residents and agreed that traffic was a major concern with local roads already choked with traffic at peak times.
A number of residents and parish councillors spoke against the plan, all of them receiving a round of applause when they finished.
Mark Morris, of Low Road, Manthorpe, said the new development would bring “unpalatable traffic problems” to the town and Belton resident Tony Hopwell said it would be a “serious erosion of the local quality of life for existing residents.”
The plan includes access to the site along Longcliffe Road. Val Hall, who lives on the road, said it would encourage drivers to use it as a rat run, cutting out the junction on the A607 with Belton Lane,
Courtney Finn, representing Grantham Civic Society, told the meeting: “Our biggest concern is that there are plans for upwards of 13,000 new homes in the town and yet there is no plan for new road infrastructure apart from the Southern Relief Road. It seems that Grantham is going to get the vast majority of the new homes in all of South Kesteven.”
Speaking on behalf of Belton House, Mr Sainsbury-Bow told the meeting that the National Trust was against the plan which would harm local heritage. He said Belton House was the fifth most popular National Trust property in the country. He said traffic noise was very much a concern as well.
Committee member Coun Michael King proposed that members approve the plan, saying that the only possible grounds for refusal would be heritage. Chairman Martin Wilkins was the only member to offer to second the proposal which was then defeated.
Coun Jacky Smith proposed refusal of the plan.
As part of the plan, Larkfleet proposed building a primary school and a neighbourhood centre.
Dale Wright, a Grantham resident, spoke in favour of the development. He said if there were to be a number of viable services in the town “we have to embrace the consequences of development.”
Larkfleet planning director Mark Mann said any impact on the setting of Belton House would be minimised.
After the meeting district councillor Ray Wootten, who has supported residents in the area against the plans, said: “I would like to thank the residents who attended the meeting and who spoke, and thank the committee for coming to the right decision. They have listened to what the people have said so I am well pleased.”
Rona Hallam, who has lived in Manthorpe village for three years, said she was “thrilled” with the decision. She said: “It’s great. I am really pleased and surprised.”