Plans for up to 13 new homes in an Eden Valley village have been refused, after councillors expressed concerns the proposals were not in keeping with the village's character.

Eden District Council's planning committee refused an outline application on Thursday to build up to 13 new homes on the edge of Low Hesket.

As an outline application, the plans were intended to demonstrate whether the proposed development was in principle acceptable.

The proposals were recommended for approval by Eden District Council's planning officers.

The local parish council, Hesket in the Forest, objected to the proposals, and 12 letters of objection were also submitted to Eden Council.

Independent councillor for Kirkby Thore, Henry Sawrey-Cookson, led the call to refuse the application.

"I'm concerned about the continuing loss of good agricultural land," he said.

"Biodiversity and good agricultural land cannot be replaced once it's lost".

"We lose more and more good agricultural land as our population increases.

"Where are we going to draw the line?"

Independent councillor for Hesket, David Ryland, added that he had concerns regarding the prospect of adding further pressure to the local school, something the parish council had also raised.

Liberal Democrat Penrith East councillor Michael Eyles said he felt the proposed new homes were not in keeping with the character of Low Hesket.

"Low Hesket is predominantly a linear village. I don't think this respects that," he said.

Other committee members were in favour of the proposal.

John Lynch, Conservative councillor for Penrith East, said: "This application ticks all the boxes," noting that the area is one of Eden District Council's "key hubs" in which the principle of new housing is supported by its Local Plan.

Eamont Conservative councillor Ian Chambers added, addressing other concerns raised regarding the prospect of flooding and road safety, that Cumbria County Council had reviewed the application as the local highways authority and the lead local flood authority. He noted that they had not objected to the application.

However, on balance those in favour of refusing the application won out, with six votes to four.