A BID to pull down a small Edwardian property and replace it with a five-bedroomed detached house has been rejected by councillors.

Members had been strongly recommended to refuse the application at the junction of Leadhall Lane and Byways, Harrogate, by planning officer Phil Jewkes.

Members of Harrogate Borough Council planning committee voted unanimously against the scheme.

CK Batchelor Ltd had applied, with a revised scheme, to demolish the existing property and build the large house.

Neighbours wrote to the planning department about the revised plans "which would provide a superb residence, given a more spacious and sympathetic building plot".

But they said the proposed frontage of 33 yards, resulting in a footprint twice that of the existing property, would completely dominate a rural aspect.

They accepted demolition of the existing house but felt any new one should be of a similar character.

And they added the developer should be encouraged to scale down plans more in keeping with the area and its wildlife.

Mr Jewkes said there was no objection in principle to development of the site.

But he said the current proposal would have an impact on living conditions at the neighbouring property.

A planning inspector said the site had an almost semi-rural character because of a stream, woodland setting and a natural low point.

Mr Jewkes accepted there was no reason to oppose the application on grounds of design or materials.

But he strongly recommended refusal, claiming the height, scale and massing of the proposed house would not preserve the characteristic spaciousness of the natural lower part of the site.