TWO development applications for boarding houses have been knocked back by Maitland City councillors.
In a lengthy debate, which saw nearly every councillor from all three sides of horseshoe stand up and share their concerns over the applications - which had both been tipped for approval.
The first application, located at 85 Church Street, proposed a three storeys (with an additional upper attic level) building containing 28 self-contained boarding rooms.
Labor councillor Henry Meskauskas said he was pushing forward a refusal for the Church Street on a number of grounds including "adverse economic and social impacts".
"We have an obligation to our residents. We've got to go back to the drawing board," he said.
The application, which was was re-notified with amendments (reduction in units from 40 to 28) between June 3 and June 17, 2019.
Twelve submissions were received in opposition to the development, one of which has been withdrawn.
Mayor Loretta Baker said this type of housing was more suitable for larger cities such as Sydney.
"There's not the demand for here for this style of housing," she said.
"This style of housing will not support any of our vibrant city plans."
Under the application, six of the rooms would have been able to accommodate up to two residents each with the remaining 22 rooms designed as single rooms.
Liberal councillor Ben Mitchell added the development was "too constrained" with boarding house able to accommodate up to 34 people and a manager.
He also added there were insufficient parks for the site.
"We are cramming too many people into one site," Cr Mitchell said.
A second development application for a boarding house in Rutherford was also refused by councillors.
The Fairview Street building proposed a two-storey building consisting of eight self-contained units with private facilities including a kitchenette and en-suite.
However councillors raised concerns over the size and character of the development which sits on just over 1000 square metres.
Cr Meskauskas said the development was inconsistent with the streetscape of the area, which is all single storey housing.
"It will create a problem for everyone," he said.
As part of the public exhibition process, three submissions against the application were received which raised a number of concerns including density proposed, parking, amenity and visual impacts.
One of them included a petition with more than 50 signatures from surrounding residents against the proposal.
Independent councillor Philip Penfold agreed with his colleagues, and said the block was inappropriate for this development.
"There is no way that it's in the community interest. For an 1000 square metre block ... This is entirely inappropriate," he said.
However Labor councillor Don Ferris went against his colleagues and voted against the refusal.
He stated council needed to start looking at medium density housing across the city.