Councillors have turned down the chance to take on part of a site in Morpeth by the River Wansbeck.
The gift of land offer to Morpeth Town Council was made by the owner of Saggerston Estate, which is located upstream of High Stanners.
After receiving a land habitat survey for this area, it asked the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the county council’s ecology team to provide an independent review.
Officers from these organisations put forward their views about the value of wildlife on the land and how it would need to be protected and managed if there were any new developments at the site.
At a meeting of the town council’s Property and Assets Committee, Coun Nic Best stated that the officers had said none of the measures proposed would increase biodiversity and wildlife numbers.
He said the offer should be refused and this was seconded by Coun David Clark, who was concerned about the implications of accepting it if a planning application was to be submitted at the site.
Coun Best’s motion was agreed by a majority vote.