Councillors have rejected plans for a new 181-home development off Burwood Lane in Torrington, much to the delight of local residents.

The application by Beechcroft Land Ltd was refused by seven-votes-to-one, though a separate application for a car park at the site by the same applicants was approved.

Both proposals initially came before the council last month when they were refused.

Because this refusal went against planning officer recommendations, they had to be heard again on Thursday, June 7, with an implications report.

However, Councillor Peter Christie said the issue of the site’s access, which was debated by members last month, did not feature in the report.

He said: “I thought the point of the implications report, if we are to have them, is that officers are going to look at points raised and strengthen our hand.”

Councillor Philip Hackett echoed these concerns, and said: “I’m very concerned we are looking at the little things around this and we’re putting it in writing to somehow push this through, and I’m really not happy about it.”

The access to the site, and a lack of sewerage infrastructure, were cited as members’ main concerns about the development.

Councillor Peter Watson said: “South West Water needs to do something about the sewerage in Torrington.

“For the seven years we’ve sat on this committee other things have come in Torrington and it’s always about the sewerage and South West Water is doing nothing.”

The council voted to refuse the application, though the application for the car park was approved by five-votes-to-three.

Speaking after the meeting, Torrington mayor Diana Davey and town councillors Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin and John Insull spoke of their delight.

Cllr Davey said: “I’m very pleased with the outcome, and relieved they stuck with their decision.”

The proposal was for houses to be built in three fields to the south of the town off Burwood Lane. The eastern field of the plan already has planning permission for 60 homes.