A debate over permitting 15 houses to be built in the city's south end does little to help Greater Sudbury's regreening image, a city councillor says.

Council was ruling on a Dalron development near Bennett Lake — a development that was approved by the planning committee two weeks ago.

But city councillor Frances Caldarelli pushed for that decision to be overturned. During the meeting she questioned how Greater Sudbury can brag about all its urban greenspace, while allowing this one to be paved over.

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Sudbury city councillor Frances Caldarelli (CBC)

"And I have to ask, do we walk the walk or do we just talk the talk," Caldarelli said. "Although we have all this wonderful stuff on our webpage about how important greenspace is, I didn't get the feeling it was very important at all."

She said, months ago, she tried to find a way to purchase this land and turn it into a park, but had no support from city staff in her quest.

In the end, the majority of council disagreed with her during Tuesday night’s meeting, and approved the development 10 votes to 3.

The decision is a good one for the developer, who councillor Ron Dupuis said "has rights — and if he chooses not to sell his property to the city and he chooses to develop it, then that is his right."

Residents in the nearby Lo-Ellen Park neighbourhood said they plan to appeal council's decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. A community group called the Friends of Bennett Lake says the bush area is popular with hikers and cross-country skiiers.