A controversial 73 house development in Abergele has been given planning permission after it was discussed by councillors for the fourth time since January.

It was originally set for a decision in January, with officers recommending that planning permission be granted.

However, councillors felt they needed to know more about the impact of the development on traffic in the town.

They pointed out that the council had the independent Atkins Report on traffic flows in Abergele which they had not been presented with.

At that meeting they voted to defer making a decision so they could consider the report.

They again voted for a delay in February to give themselves more time.

The plans will see the building 73 homes on land off Llanfair Road in Abergele by the applicant Anwyl Homes.

Abergele Town Council had written to planners objecting to the scheme because of the strength of public feeling against the proposal.

As well as fears over traffic congestion, concerns raised included over-development in the area, with another large scheme in nearby Bodelwyddan, and fears that local primary schools are already over capacity.

And last month there was no majority in favour of motions to either support or oppose the application.

The development would be made up of 32 four-bed detached, 19 three-bed detached, 12 three-bed semi-detached, eight two-bed semi-detached, and three two-bed terraced houses, with seven of the homes being affordable.

Councillors had been warned by the applicant’s legal team that if the issue went to appeal and was lost the council would likely have to pay legal costs.

Penrhyn county councillor, Chris Cater, said he had not heard any sound planning reasons for rejecting the application.

He said: “This has been a very contentious application and I must admit the Abergele members have been very good over the examination of this.

“But my feelings have not changed from the last time and I proposed then that we go with approval.”

He added: “I don’t think we can oppose it, I think it was lost in the work done on the present Local Development Plan.”

But Cllr Andfrew Hinchcliff who represents the Bryn ward argued that the development was unsuitable for Abergele.

He said: “These houses are not suitable for older people and a large percentage of Abergele people are older people.

“And we should be asking them what sort of houses they want not planting little boxes in a field. I feel like we’re being blackmailed to pass this because we’ve got no way of objecting to it.”

Councillors voted by seven votes to six in favour of granting permission for the development.