PLANS to build a “completely unsustainable” housing development on the edge of a North Somerset village have been rejected by councillors for a second time — despite a bid by developers to make the scheme more acceptable.

Developer M7’s proposal to build 90 homes on a field off a cul-de-sac in Congresbury was rejected by North Somerset Council’s planning committee in October.

But, with the decision going against the recommendation of the council’s planning officers, council rules meant the decision had to come back to the committee to be confirmed after a “cooling off” period.

Meeting again on November 15 to confirm their decision — in a meeting once again packed with people from the village — councillors were presented with a watered down version of the proposal, asking for permission for only up to 70 homes.

But no agent from the developers attended to speak at the meeting.

Amie Price-Bates, speaking for Congresbury residents, said that the proposed site of the homes was “completely unsuitable.”

She added: “Congresbury has proposed other suitable sites which are yet to be developed.”

The fact that the village had developed a neighbourhood plan which identified other areas where they thought housing developments should go was a major factor in why the plans were turned down the first time, even though planning officers warned it only carried limited weight due to the housing situation in North Somerset.

Councillor Mike Solomon said: “It’s interesting that once we turned it down, the applicant came and reduced the houses to 70.”

But he added: “I haven’t changed my view since last time.”

Council planning officers, who recommended that the scheme be approved, warned that M7 could appeal if the council turned it down, because a “tilted balance” has to be applied in favour of development due to the council’s lack of a five year housing supply.

But Mr Solomon said: “I am not convinced, any more, that we will lose appeals on our housing numbers.”

Councillors voted unanimously to stand by their decision and again refuse planning permission for the homes.

Reacting to the decision, Mary Short of Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) said: “We are delighted that the councillors ratified their decision to refuse M7’s application.

The support from the local community has been exceptional and we are also grateful to our new district councillor Dan Thomas putting our case so effectively.”

She added: “Special thanks should go to Amie Price-Bates who presented our objections so clearly.”