A PARISH council is to lodge an official appeal after plans to build 600 homes in a Northwich village were shelved.
Residents in Wincham were hoping that proposals for an urban village on a site near Chapel Street would have solved the area's traffic problems.
But the scheme has been dropped by Vale Royal Borough Council from the draft of the Local Plan put out for public comments this week, with planners saying the borough council would end up going over its housing quota if 600 more homes were built.
That was despite unveiling the exciting proposals to villagers last year - and finding them overwhelmingly in favour of the scheme.
Now Wincham Parish Council says it will appeal against the decision to omit the village from the Local Plan when a public inquiry into it is held in September. There, those people or organisations who objected to the alternations to the Local Plan are given the opportunity to make their case known. A Government-appointed inspector will consider each objection and advise Vale Royal if and how it should change the Plan, which will be adopted by June 2006.
The proposed development would have seen 35-40 hectares of land to the south of Church Street and bounded by New Warrington Road, Chapel Street, the canal and the river, transformed. As well as housing, there would have been employment opportunities, public open space and community and leisure facilities.
Parish council chairman Roy Main-waring said the urban village would have regenerated Lower Wincham. He said: 'We have seen the re-deposit of the Local Plan and we are not happy that the council has removed the proposals for Wincham - it does not even get a mention.
'We are going to appeal against it and also see if there are any other avenues we can explore before that stage. The parish council has formed a sub-group to decide what the appropriate action is.
'We are not optimistic at the moment but the reasons given for leaving it out when it is nothing but beneficial are atrocious. We do not agree with Vale Royal Borough Council on that.
'This development would solve an awful lot of dereliction and problems which have been left by small land owners. It is ideal for Wincham as it has residential and leisure facilities.'
Residents in the Chapel Street area believe the plan could have solved long-standing problems caused by HGV traffic tearing through the centre of the village. They hoped cash from developers would have paid for a road to be built directly onto New Warrington Road.
Cllr Mainwaring said: 'The new road system would have relieved the traffic on Chapel Street. What more could you ask for? But they have kicked it into touch.'
The borough council said it has had to revise its thinking because of the number of homes already built in the area.
A spokesman said it looked at all the sites where housing has been considered and decided the Wincham site performed the least well in its criteria, particularly because the land was less suitable than other proposals.