Plans to build a new secondary school in Rosehill were refused permission by Sutton's planning committee at the end of a fiery meeting.

After four hours debate in a packed hall, proposals for the Recreation Ground development were voted down by six Lib Dem councillors to four Conservatives, who supported the plans.

Sutton Council supported the planning officer's recommendation of refusal on the basis that the design is out of keeping with the area, and fails to meet the standards of an "exemplary" learning environment.

Supporters of the plans argued that "subjective" concerns over design should not override the pressing need to solve the school place crisis in the borough.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Worcester Park and committee Vice-Chair, Drew Heffernan, said: "I think a school would work on this site, but not this design.

"We're being pushed towards approving this by the developer, and I don't think enough effort has been put into designing this properly to fit with our local plan."

Council leader Ruth Dombey has been accused of playing politics by opposing the plans, since Rosehill is her ward.

Independent Cllr Nick Mattey said: "There is nothing wrong with this design, it just so happens it is located where the Council Leader does not want to lose her seat.

"What we have here is an outbreak of nimbyism, where the children of the borough have been sidelined."

Legal representatives countered Cllr Mattey's claims by pointing out the planning authority makes its recommendations independently and impartially.

William Smith, chief exec of Greenshaw Learning Trust, who were in place to run the school, said: "In my opinion the proposals are excellent. They are similar to a number of schools we run that deliver a great standard of education.

"There is an acute need of school places in Sutton - 320 places- and current schools are full."

In March, the Lib Dem-controlled council announced an extra 134 secondary school spaces were needed in the borough.

The proposed school would have provide 1,200 places for pupils aged 11-16, and 350 school places for sixth formers.

The development also included a special education needs school for 56 pupils on the autistic spectrum.

Wates Construction, the developer, said improved the plans in accordance with the Council commissioned design panel's recommendations.

A spokesperson said: "“We have improved our plans extensively over the last month, following feedback from the Design Review Panel, and we are delighted that residents like the look of the new plans.

“It is deeply saddening that the Council are trying to crush these plans, and I would encourage all Sutton parents to attend the meeting on 10th September and make their support for new schools heard.”