A FORMER city councillor has criticised “greedy” housing developers after civic chiefs rejected changes to new luxury homes in Winchester.

Karen Barratt welcomed a decision by city planners to block Drew Smith Homes from amending plans for new houses in Woolverston, Bereweeke Road, which would have allowed them to build more bedrooms.

The developer has consent to build 11 homes over the former sheltered housing block, ranging in size from two to seven bedrooms.

But a new amendment, rejected on Thursday (October 16), would have allowed it to add two extra beds to each of the smaller homes by fitting windows in the loft space.

Approval could have led to all 11 homes offering five bedrooms or more. Winchester City councillors agreed that this would contradict their commitment to provide a range of housing in new developments.

Ms Barratt, who campaigned against the plans, told the Hampshire Chronicle: “It's good to see the planning committee standing up to bullying developers. Too many prime sites in Winchester are in the hands of greedy developers who just sell properties to the highest bidder and have no interest in housing the city's low paid workers or local young people.”

Drew Smith director Phil Farminer admitted that the original application would have been refused had it not included the smaller properties.

The council received eight objections to the amendment, citing traffic, parking and the lack of affordable homes despite the potential for more rooms.

Drew Smith has no obligation to provide affordable housing on the site as the agreed scheme cuts the number of beds from 49 to 47.