Plans to build 3,000 homes on the edge of Aylesbury would have been rejected – if it was up to the district council.
This afternoon the council’s planning committee unanimously voted against the Hampden Fields proposal, which would see development between Weston Turville and Bedgrove.
However the Government’s planning inspectorate will make the final decision at an inquiry later this year at the developer’s request.
Aylesbury Vale District Council still had to decide whether it would have approved the application and its decision will carry weight when the planning inspector makes their decision.
Thousands of people objected to the Hampden Fields plan and a number of opponents spoke at the meeting, with several highlighting the ‘unprecedented’ scale of objections.
Weston Turville parish councillor Hugh Gwilliams said of the plan: “It will cause permanent harm to the village and the parish.”
Bedgrove district councillor Mark Winn said the development would have a detrimental impact on traffic levels and the environment, while another local member, Councillor Brian Roberts, sent a message to the developers, saying: “Please could you and your chums go and terrorise other parts of the world and leave Aylesbury alone.”
No one from the consortium behind the plan spoke at the meeting, a move which was described as ‘disrespectful’ and ‘outrageous’ by opponents.
Phil Yerby, Hampden Fields Action Group chairman, said: “I find it absolutely astounding that the developer has shown such blatant contempt for the local planning process from the word go.
“They are entitled not to turn up but I can’t believe they have chosen not to support their own application.”
Representatives of the developers attended the meeting but they said they did not think it was appropriate for them to speak.
A spokesman for the developers said: “We did not believe that it would have been helpful to address the committee members in support of our proposals as they were not making a decision on whether to approve or refuse the application.
“We attended to hear the committee discussion rather than seek to join in the debate. The right time for that will be in the public inquiry.”
After the vote, campaigners expressed their delight that councillors had listened to their fears.
Mr Yerby said: “Local people have spoken in their thousands and the committee has spoken.
“I now call on the developer and Aylesbury College [which is part of the consortium] to withdraw their application and engage with us in a consultation process.
“If not our plans are well underway to represent the people around Aylesbury who objected to this application at the enquiry.”
Aston Clinton resident Peter Forest, who works as a developer but spoke against the proposal, said: “It’s rare to get an unanimous decision at committee on a proposal like this.
“But the unanimous vote shows that in fact this proposal does not bring forward what it says it would and would blight Aylesbury for generations to come.”
The developers said they were not surprised by the decision.
A spokesman said: “The Secretary of State will make his decision in the light of the Government’s policy that there is an urgent need to increase housing delivery, promote economic growth and secure sustainable development.”
The planning inspectorate is expected to begin its inquiry in the summer.