Protesters set up camp in trees in May 2006
Controversial plans to build 875 homes in West Sussex, which would have seen the destruction of ancient woodland, have been rejected.
Worthing councillors said they were concerned about the impact the West Durrington development would have on wildlife and Titnore Woods.
More than 100 people attended the planning meeting at the Assembley Hall in Worthing on Monday.
Protesters set up camp in the treetops in Titnore Wood in May 2006.
Worthing councillors, who unanimously rejected developer West Durrington Consortium's plans to build the homes and community facilities, said they were also concerned about access to Titnore Lane and overdevelopment in the area.
'Value of wildlife'
The consortium first submitted proposals in 2003 which included the straightening of Titnore Lane, with the loss of 275 trees.
They were later changed to save 200 existing trees, with 2,350 more being planted across the site.
Speed management measures were also proposed rather than the straightening of Titnore Lane, with 20mph limits in the housing areas.
Janice Watson, of Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: "We're really delighted that the elected members locally have recognised the value of our environment and the wildlife in that area.
"It's not just about the loss of individual trees or actual felling, it's about the impact that that level of development would have on the wildlife in that area."