Proposals to build a large housing estate on a greenfield site in Ramsey have been rejected by the planning committee amid concerns over flood risk and possible loss of two red-listed wildflowers.

The committee voted three to two against the £40m Sulby Riverside scheme, with one member Adele Betteridge abstaining as she had not been on a site visit.

Blythe Church Investments Holdings Ltd had sought detailed planning approval (22/00679/B) for the first phase of the scheme which could see a total of 66 houses and 12 flats built on fields at Poyll Dooey. Its application also sought consent for a second phase of up to 127 more homes, making 205 in total.

Proposals included affordable housing, a new public house and community facility as well as light industrial units.

The site borders a nature reserve and a protected saltmarsh.

Among the objectors was the government’s flood management division which said no homes should be built on a floodplain. Manx Wildlife Trust said it would make a mockery of the island’s Biosphere status.

The committee heard that the site is home to two species of clover which are on the red list of endangered species. Applicants Blythe Church Investments had proposed a Spine Road as part of the scheme that would double as a flood barrier. Planning officer Hamish Laird said the site should be flood free even in the event of a one in 200 year flooding event of 6.05m.

Committee member Peter Young said he supported the plans for south of the Spine Road but had concerns about the land to the north in terms of flood risk and ecology. Chairman Rob Callister said he ‘loved’ phase one but was not comfortable with part of the design for phase two.

Earlier Ramsey commissioner Lamara Craine stormed out in protest at the planning officer reading out a letter of support from a pub landlord but not the objection from the 2,000 who had signed her petition.

Nathan Church, of Blythe Church Investments, said he will be considering whether or not to lodge an appeal.

He said: ‘This is disappointing and surprising news given that the site is allocated for development in the Local Plan. We spent three years working tirelessly with a wide range of stakeholders, including planning officers and their colleagues, to arrive at a point where they had recommended the scheme for approval. We will decide on our next steps in due course.’