A £7m plan to flood an area of farmland in Lincolnshire to create a wildlife habitat has been rejected.
East Lindsey District Council voted to reject plans to breach the sea defences at Donna Nook, North Somercotes.
The Environment Agency wanted to create a wetland habitat as part of a wider flood defence scheme for the Humber estuary.
A spokesperson said they were "disappointed" by the decision and may appeal in the future.
Residents had expressed concerns over the loss of farmland and the breaching of the banks to allow sea water in.
The farmland in question is owned by the Environment Agency.
To protect against future flooding, a new embankment would have been built behind the breached sea defences.
In a statement, the Environment Agency said: "Our interest is to predominantly maintain and improve flood defences on their existing line.
"In the face of rising sea levels this means that there will be a loss of protected intertidal habitat which we must compensate for.
"The scheme at Donna Nook would provide habitat to replace that lost between Grimsby and Saltfleet."
A council spokesman described the plans as "very contentious".
They continued: "I hope we've given everyone's views due consideration."