A former holiday camp will remain solely a retirement village after Lancaster City Council threw out plans to allow residents of any age.
The council planning committee has turned down a request by owners to vary a legal agreement restricting the former Pontins site at Middleton to bungalows and flats for over 55s.
Residents living at the Middleton Retirement Village had protested, saying the age limit is written into their leases.
The gated community currently comprises 35 bungalows and 20 apartments in Natterjack Lane, Lavender Way and Badger Wood.
Areas of undeveloped land and hoardings cover the rest of the site, which was originally earmarked for 650 homes until development stalled due to the economic downturn.
“I have some sympathy with residents down there,” said Coun Keith Budden, chairman of the planning committee. “It was a concept that it was hoped would work but at the moment it just isn’t happening.”