A 30-homes scheme on land owned by the strategic planning chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council will be decided by an inspector because his authority failed to decide the application in time.
Plans were put forward by Church Green Developments Ltd on land at The Clock House, Edge, near Malpas, owned by property developer Cllr Howard Greenwood (Con, Farndon).
But the applicant lodged an appeal against the non determination of the application which was submitted in December and was on the agenda for the previous committee but “withdrawn” at the 11th hour.
The council says the reason for the delay was as a “result of the illness of the planning officer concerned”.
Councillors were asked to give their indicative view, which will heard at the appeal and their unanimous opposition was in line with the planning department’s recommendation of refusal.
Malpas ward councillor Ann Wright told the meeting: “This is an isolated, rural location. I am disappointed that the application has not been refused on highway grounds.
“The addition of two bus stops does little to contribute to the fact there is a very limited bus service.
“In fact if this development was approved, it would be an isolated estate of homes with no integration with the wider community.”
Cllr Jill Houlbrook said: “When we visited the site I was a bit bemused because we were in the middle of a green field down a very tiny country lane.
“The thought of building some houses on that particular site I think is totally out of character with the area, totally inappropriate.
“We were in a 12 seater coach and we could get barely down the lane.”
Councillors were cautioned in an officer’s report that the application should be regarded as if made on behalf of a council member given Cllr Greenwood’s financial interest but no legal advice was offered as to the potential implications.
In the event, no colleagues of Cllr Greenwood decided to declare an interest as a close associate or friend.
But council spokesman Ian Callister said the report made “quite clear” the land was owned by another councillor and “publically recognised and recorded that the member concerned was bound to be known to other members”.