THE need to protect a heritage building and children using a nearby lane to get to school led councillors to reject proposals for four homes near Brighouse.

Robert Hall had applied for outline permission to build the homes at land opposite St Giles Close, Hove Edge.

Councillors heard the site is to the south of Grade II* listed Giles House.

The application had been amended from the original, leading Historic England to conclude the effect on Giles House as “less than substantial” – but planning officers and councillors felt the impact would be substantial enough.

Objectors voiced concerns including highways, congestion and loss of privacy as well as effects they felt would be harmful to wildlife, flooding fears and loss of green belt land.

But ward councillor Country Colin Raistrick (Ind, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) supported the application.

He wrote to the committee: “I’ve had a look at the site and the advice from Historic England. I think you may have over stated Historic England’s position.

“‘Less than substantial’ is the phrase they use in reference to the harm caused.

“Seems clear to me.

“We need houses, they’re in a good spot, no congestion worries. I don’t see a problem.”

Officers advice to members was to refuse the application as they judged the public benefit of the new homes did not, on balance, outweigh harm done to the historic asset, described by Heritage England as contributing “strongly to our understanding of (the house’s) agricultural past”.

Agent for the applicant, Roger Lee, pointed out English Heritage’s conclusion harm would be less than substantial and highlighted a plus point for the council: “It’s a balancing act but the positive end is that delivery of housing.”

But another another ward councillor, Coun David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said he felt, having heard the arguments, and from a resident who made a point that children used what was a very busy road close to the site to get to school, that refusal was the right decision. “I think officers have got this one spot on,” he said, and members agreed.