FEARS of 'chronic' parking problems led councillors to refuse two first-floor flats in Ellesmere Port.
The scheme had been proposed by a Mr Price for above a hairdresser's at 73-75 Oldfield Road.
It was rejected by the borough's planning committee after members overturned the advice of their officers.
The first floor of the property is currently used for storage and office accommodation in connection with the hairdressers.
One of the proposed flats would have had a bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom. The other would become a bed-sit. The landlord would also retain a room there.
No objections were raised by the County Engineer, who suggested there was sufficient space for parking within close proximity.
But eight neighbours objected, saying the occupiers of the flats would end up parking on Oldfield Road, causing them difficulties.
Resident Mr E Johnson told the committee: 'There is no parking. We have been unable to park at the front of our house for 20 years.'
He claimed that, due to congestion, fire engines could not get through to tackle fires.
Committee vice-chair Cllr Angela Claydon (Lab, Rivacre) said: 'Parking is the issue.'
She suggested the proposed bed-sit was also a problem and asked: 'Could there be further negotiations to see if we could get one flat?'
Although the application had been recommended for approval by planning officers, council and Labour group leader, Cllr Reg Chrimes (Lab, Little Neston) successfully moved for it to be refused.
He said the application would increase 'already chronic parking problems in the area.'
* Councillors also refused an 'unusually designed' two-storey side extension at 2 Dee View Cottages, Chester High Road, Neston, for Mr/s A Townsend.
The design had mediaeval elements, with battlements and crosses, but planners said it was 'visually distracting' and out of character with the property.