PLANS top build a mini housing estate on the edge of town have been turned down after councillors heard it would look like "Blackpool seafront" at night.
Members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's planning applications committee refused to give permission for the development of 11 homes on land at Bridge End, Macclesfield Road, despite planning officers recommending approval.
The site is occupied by two large reservoir pits and lies at the edge of the settlement boundary, close to Leek cricket ground.
Objecting to the plans, Bridge End resident Garfield Hardisty said: "There would be no escape for elderly residents during construction as large loads of in-fill material would have to be brought to fill in the site.
"Also, children play safely at present. If granted there would be extra noise and dust brought to the environment.
"In one part of the planning officer's report it states that the development is relatively distant from neighbouring properties.
"However, later on in the report it states it is near to properties and due care should be taken. Is it near or a distance?"
Another objector, Stephen Cartledge, said that because the road was private and unadopted, it was not a highway.
He said: "The road is too narrow.
"The access is already congested. The development would bring nothing to the area."
Agent for the applicant, Rob Duncan said that the plan was a resubmission following talks with planning officers following a refused application.
He said: "This is a brownfield site promoted by policy.
"The council does not have a five year supply of housing land and 11 homes can be allowed.
"A large space will remain and landscaping will be undertaken to soften the area."
However, Councillor Robert Plant said the area was in the very old part of Leek. He said: "I am concerned over the elevation of the site as it will stick out and be intrusive.
"When lights are on at night it will look like Blackpool seafront.
"I do not think Leek is ready for this as once it was started it will open the gates for further development.
"Councillor John Fisher said: "This will cause visual harm. You look down on St Edward's Church from the site. All Leek will see it.
"There is also an ancient track which is very special.
"Two-storey development is out of order due to the prominence of the site."
Councillor Mike Worthington said: "There are grave concerns and it could open the floodgates."
Councillor Margaret Lovatt added: "This will also destroy a carriageway which has never been driven on. Making a modern road would destroy a beautiful part of Leek."
Councillors voted by 13 to one in favour of refusal.