Vast areas of valuable land in Portsmouth could have been sterilised so residents could be protected from motorway noise.
Portsmouth housing committee was told the Department of the Environment favoured 270ft wide strips on both sides of new urban motorways to act as buffer zones to cut traffic noise.
This would have meant no new housing development could take place within those strips both sides of the proposed Portsmouth North-South Road.
WD Worden, a city architect, said negotiations for the development of land south of Arundel Street, to rehouse residents from the Lucknow Street area, were being complicated by noise level restrictions.
He said: ‘It could be possible that the noise from the motorway would be so bad that the Department of the Environment could say houses should not be built there.’
Mr Worden suggested a revised lay-out for 150 homes to be built on the site which would give a 150-foot strip between the homes and the new motorway. The original scheme allowed for houses to be built closer to the road.
The committee approved the revised scheme.