Fears that Yapton was being strangled by housing led to plans for more homes to be narrowly rejected.
The outline scheme for 33 dwellings was thrown out by councillors because it was planned for top class farmland.
They overturned the advice of their planning officers after Arun District Council development control committee acting chairman, Cllr Isobel Thurston, used her casting vote against the houses to break a 4-4 tie with five abstentions.
Cllr Martin Lury (LD, Bersted), who was the meeting’s vice-chairman, said he agreed with Yapton Parish Council’s view the site should be kept as a green lung among the new housing.
“This is grade one agricultural land. That is a rare resource and one we should be preserving. This is ‘concrete-isation’ of the land. You can’t take every piece of green land and look to build on it,” he said.
Committee member Cllr Hugh Coster (I, Aldwick E) said the use of Grade One agricultural land for housing conflicted with policies in Arun’s local plan, Yapton’s neighbourhood plan and the government’s national policy planning framework.
“This is the death by strangulation of a thousand planning permissions. This is effectively beginning to strangle the northern access of Yapton with these applications,” he said.
Cllr Henry Jones (LD, Yapton) told the committee: “You are looking at nearly 3,000 extra houses in one (council) ward over the next decade, which will double the population of this ward, which is frankly not sustainable for North End Road. The traffic on that road is quite congested.”
Paul White, Domusea’s planning agent, said: “This part of Yapton has been the focus for development because it’s a very good sustainable location for housing, close to facilities, the school and local transport.”
The houses would be a mix of two, three and four-bed properties.