Falkirk Council could be facing a showdown with the Scottish Government after refusing a planning application.
A bid to build 27 houses on land next to The Bungalows site near Larbert Cross from Scottish Ministers on behalf of NHS Forth Valley was considered when the planning committee met.
Council officers had recommended permission in principle be granted subject to conditions, but after a debate councillors were split on whether it should be approved and convener Councillor David Alexander used his casting vote to reject it.
Under the rules the applicant is entitled to appeal the decision to the government’s appeals division.
The committee was told most of the site in the application is within an area already designated for housing and to accommodate it would only require a “minor” change.
Ahead of any application for full planning permission, the applicant has already agreed to provide affordable housing and contribute £4200 per house towards the cost of schooling.
Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood Community Council objected to the plan.
It argued it was contrary to the Local Development Plan and would result in over development of the site, would only add to the traffic congestion on local roads and put more pressure on Forth Valley Royal Hospital and doctors surgeries.
Councillor Alexander moved it be refused. He said: “It is contrary to the development plan and would have an adverse impact on the area.”