Wharfedale Homes Limited’s scheme to put 62 homes in a field off Green Lane, not far from the iconic structure which looms over the town was rejected against the advice of the council’s planning officers.
The committee had previously deferred a decision twice to get more information from the Highways Authority, which on the three occasions it was consulted signed off on the access to the site.
The council’s planning officers have recommended approval for the scheme each time it went before councillors.
Some members of the committee disagreed, however, with Whitby Cllr Phil Trumper telling today’s meeting that an ongoing trial by North Yorkshire County Council to close the town’s Swing Bridge to traffic on weekends and its impact on Green Lane had not been considered.
He said: “The junctions are not safe. I do believe Highways have looked at this properly and taken into account the issues from the pedestrianisation of the Swing Bridge.”
Cllr Trumper said that Green Lane was now being used as a bypass for those avoiding the road closures.
Cllr Bill Chatt added: “The access to Green Lane from the bottom is horrendous, I have a lot of sympathy with the residents.”
The land is part of the council’s local plan and was found to be acceptable for housing by a planning inspector following a public consultation.
Across two separate consultations 52 letters of objection were sent to the borough council by residents regarding fears about over development of the site, traffic issues and the impact on the nearby homes that would be overlooked.
The two consultations were required after Wharfedale changed its original plan, which was to build 58 houses and a block of 12 flats.
That was then changed to 57 houses and five one-bedroom flats. A total of 19 of the properties would have been classed as affordable.
The committee voted by six voted to five to refuse the plans with the council’s planning manager David Walker telling the committee it was likely the applicant would appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.