Plans for up to 153 new homes on land off Bickland Water Road in Falmouth were rejected by councillors this week, despite the case officer urging them to approve the scheme.

Midas Developments had applied for outline consent to build the homes, new estate roads and create an area of open space on what is commonly known as Pool Field, but Cornwall councillors voted by eight to five to refuse the proposals on Monday.

The reasons for the rejection were the loss of grade two agricultural land and the visual impact the development would have on the setting of the listed Budock Church. There were also concerns over whether the local road network could cope with the additional traffic, and the lack of space at St Francis School.

The refusal has been welcomed by both Falmouth Town Council and Budock Parish Council, who had both voiced their opposition to the scheme.

Councillor Alan Jewell, chairman of Falmouth’s strategic planning committee, said: “This is a site too far. I would like to think that Falmouth would not come any further this way when there is so much land down towards the Channel 4 field more suitable.”

Councillor John Bastin, chairman of the parish council, said: “It was an excellent outcome and means that the grade two land has been preserved for the future. What is needed now is for the Bickland zone to be revisited and removed from the planning option so that this top quality land can be preserved not only for future food production but also to help with flood prevention as the climate gets wetter.”

It was local Cornwall Councillor Neil Hatton, who proposed refusal. He said: “There are so many applications coming in so fast, I do not think we have the infrastructure to cope with all the developments.”