Lucrative proposals to build 57 homes on part of a golf course have been rejected because the scheme targeted Green Belt land.
Concerns were raised that the development at Walmley Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield would 'open the floodgates' for similar plans if they were approved.
Birmingham City Council's planning committee blocked the contentious application yesterday (Thursday, August 2), which had been jointly submitted by the club, McCarthy and Stone alongside Cameron Homes.
The housing element of the scheme, including 14 family homes and a single block of 43 retirement apartments, was the linchpin to securing vital investment for the club but ultimately it proved to be the barrier to the scheme obtaining approval.
The committee ruled the housing did not meet the 'very special circumstances' required to build on Green Belt land despite recognising several knock-on benefits to the 116-year-old club, including improvements and extensions to its 'outdated' club house and a brand new golfing academy.
Initially the committee considered deferring a decision so they could visit the site.
The move was suggested by Cllr Maureen Cornish who said: "During my many years on the committee this application is one of the most controversial.
"I would certainly like to see improvements to the facilities providing much needed support to members of the community, much needed support to young people and making it inclusive for people with disabilities.
"It goes without saying that's wonderful.
"The reality is without development on the Green Belt other improvements can't be delivered.
"If we get it wrong we could open up the floodgates for future applications.
"It is essential that we make a site visit on this occasion."
But after a tied vote acting chairman Cllr Karen McCarthy used her casting vote to defeat the motion stating a visit would not add anything further.
Planning officers on the council had recommended the plans be refused due to the loss of Green Belt land but Cllr Gareth Moore, on the committee, questioned their judgement in light of the council earmarking land at Peddimore, Sutton Coldfield, for a hugely controversial 6,000-home development.
He said: "I agree that the Green Belt is important and we must resist inappropriate development.
"My concern is we are proposing 6,000 homes at Peddimore. How is that appropriate when we are saying 57 homes here is not?
"In my head I struggle to see how the two correlate."
While more than 80 people had formally objected to the golf club's plans the scheme had received wide backing with 330 letters submitted in favour and support from local schools as well as an NHS rehabilitation centre.
The academy promised five new green complexes to practice short range shots, a putting green, a 'start new at golf' course, practice nets and a teaching building.
The club argued it would have enhanced accessibility for children, those with special needs and the disabled.
They stated the academy would also help generate extra income which would have helped sustain the golf club in the future putting forward that the money could not be raised by any other means other than selling part of their land.