A proposal for 48 affordable homes at a site in Forres described as an eyesore has been refused.
St Machar Properties lodged a planning application for 19 flats and 29 houses at Caroline Street in the town with Moray Council.
But at a meeting of the planning and regulatory services committee members rejected the proposal by six votes to four, against officer recommendation to approve.
There were two abstentions.
The lack of a children’s play area within the scheme, a shortfall of eight parking spaces and road safety issues caused some councillors concern.
‘I just feel it needs to be safer’
The committee was advised there was a playground on Bogton Road about 1200ft away, however there was a 60ft section of the route with no footpath and no scope to install one.
Chairman Aaron McLean, SNP councillor for Forres, put forward a motion to approve the development.
He said: “For me, these are acceptable departures, this has been a derelict site for the last 18 years and it’s very overgrown.
“But this is about affordable housing and it doesn’t necessarily mean families.
“There are one bed flats much needed throughout Moray and Forres as well and it is very accessible with bus stops and train station very close .”
Fochabers Lhanbryde Conservative councillor Marc Macrae backed the motion.
He said: “Moray is very much a developing place and we need to encourage people to move here, and it can help people get onto the property ladder.
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity.”
Sonya Warren, SNP councillor for Buckie, felt she could not support the departures from the development plan.
She said: “I understand the need for a development here and how good it would be to see affordable housing, I just feel it needs to be safer.
“I don’t think it’s right that we’re looking at a proposal just so it fits into that space.”
Elgin North Conservative councillor Frank Brown called the area an “eyesore” and the application “unacceptable”.
The site once housed a Tesco, gas works and slaughter house and is bordered to the north by Mosset Park, the home of Forres Mechanics Football Club.