Plans to build 28 new homes in Ashwell have been refused by North Hertfordshire District Council's planning control committee.

In a meeting last night (May 27), NHDC councillors voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation that the development be refused.

The proposed land development site, which sits off Station Road, would see 28 residential dwellings, along with landscaping including pond, wildflower meadow and woodland and associated infrastructure.

This comes after a planning application for 46 dwellings on the same land was refused in 2017.

Case officer Simon Ellis addressed the concern that the development would be "suburbanising an area that's a transition between the countryside and the linear pattern of Ashwell."

One of the main concerns regarding the development - brought up by Simon Ellis and supported a further five councillors - was the layout of housing on the site, namely an affordable housing courtyard.

This design in its current state would see affordable housing "crammed against the woodland" and kept separate from the rest of the site, rather than being integrated throughout the development.

Mr Ellis added: "If you think about what would be a logical extension to the village of Ashwell, I don't think this field is," and that it would infringe on the "wide, expansive countryside" that lies beyond Ashwell, and "gives a substantive reason for refusal."

Public speaker, Graham Lee - Ashwell Parish Council's chair - said: "Ashwell Parish Council considered this application in a meeting on February 10 this year, and resolved, based on the objections raised by members of the public by parish councillors, that the application should be refused."

In support of the motion to refuse permission for the development, Cllr Morgan Derbyshire, said that the nature of the build - in regard to affordable housing - was "abhorrent", likening it to a "ghetto".

Cllr Tom Tyson, seconded Cllr Derbyshire's comments, calling the expansion an "inappropriate development in the wrong sort of place", and with regard to the layout, added that it should be rejected on those grounds alone.