BENDIGO councillors have rejected a housing development in California Gully, for the time being.
They voted to oppose 14 homes rising on vacant land at 26 Youlden Street when they gathered on Monday.
Multiple councillors told the meeting the development would put too many homes on too little land.
The land is 4145 square metres in size.
A number have said they would rethink their position if the idea was scaled down, including Cr Dave Fagg.
"The city needs smaller developments of this kind on vacant blocks of land," he said.
"We need unit housing that can house Bendigo's growing population. It's preferable to us becoming a large and sprawling city with more and more greenfield development."
Cr Fagg said the homes proposed for the site needed to be detached from each other to stay in keeping with the area's broader character.
"It's clear from a drive around the area that the housing there is single-storey and separated [from other homes]," Cr Fagg said.
"I would have been open to a double-storey townhouse design if there was some separation between the properties."
Twenty-nine members of the public had opposed the development on a number of grounds including over neighbourhood character and urban design.
Some members of the public appeared to have argued too many rentable properties could increase crime or devalue their properties.
Cr Margaret O'Rourke said those concerns were difficult to substantiate.
"And they are not planning matters," she said.
"I know people get to the point where they feel they just have to put whatever they can into objections but there are key elements [we consider]."
Cr O'Rourke urged people to keep to planning matters when objecting to developments.
She agreed the development did not meet planning requirements and helped vote to block it going ahead.
Correction: This story was updated at 12pm on Tuesday, May 24 to delete references to social housing. The development was not intended as social housing. The Advertiser apologises for the confusion.
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