TWO out of three multi-million-pound Oxford housing schemes backed by designer Kevin McCloud have been given the go-ahead.

But a third, to build 40 flats on the former Cowley Community Centre in Barns Road, was thrown out because it didn’t provide any parking.

The three schemes were debated at a lengthy Oxford City Council planning committee meeting last night. They were all part of an £18m project to turn three former community centre sites into more than 108 homes, spearheaded by the presenter of Grand Designs Mr McCloud.

Councillors approved two proposals for Northway; 21 flats on the current base of homeless charity Emmaus in Westlands Drive, and 47 houses and a new community centre in Maltfield Road.

But it was the Cowley scheme that provoked most debate.

Around 40 residents affected by the schemes attended the four-hour meeting.

While councillors were asking questions of officers about the Cowley application, they were heckled by residents with cries of “rubbish”.

Chairman Van Coulter warned the public on two occasions he would clear the room if there were further interruptions.

He said: “There is a lot of emotion from residents but you cannot allow those emotions to become involved in planning law.”

Councillors rejected the scheme because they felt the car-free approach would not work.

Councillor Mary Clarkson said: “The car-free scheme hasn’t worked in Headington, and Cowley is comparable. It takes years to enforce a controlled parking zone.

“Young people now do their shopping online and there’s no space for any delivery trucks to park.”

More than 489 people objected to the Cowley proposal, alongside a petition of 327 signatures.

The planning committee refused the plans for a number of reasons, including lack of parking, height and bulk and traffic risk.

Speaking after the meeting, Cowley resident Judith Harley said: “I am pleasantly delighted that common sense has prevailed. It is an excellent outcome for local democracy.”

Eight people had objected to the Maltfield Road plans and 12 opposed the Westlands Drive application, with many citing flood risk.

Thames Water had also objected to the Northway proposals because they said the sewers cannot cope.

Northway resident Betty Fletcher said: “I am constantly getting flooded in my home.

“I think it is disgusting, we live in fear when it rains.”

But the plans were approved with conditions that the flooding concerns are sorted out first.

Underground storage tanks at the two sites are proposed to address flooding issues.

Head of city planning Michael Crofton-Briggs said: “This is a very useful contribution to the housing shortage in the city. There is a substantial need for it.”

The building work is to be carried out by Hab Oakus, a venture between Mr McCloud’s Hab development company and housing association GreenSquare.

Part of the three-scheme deal involved the housing association giving £395,000 to improve the city’s infrastructure.

The city council had hoped to spend £37,500 of that to create a controlled parking zone around the Barns Road area in Cowley.

GreenSquare declined to comment last night.