Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has rejected a Sinn Fein motion calling for a new bilingual street sign policy on Tuesday evening.
The motion was brought forward by Sinn Fein councillor Ryan Carlin and would have allowed a consultation for the change of signage if 15% of residents were in favour.
Thirty-four councillors from the DUP, UUP and Alliance party voted against the motion, while five Sinn Fein, SDLP and Green party councillors voted in favour.
The proposal was branded by the DUP as “divisive” and “undemocratic”.
DUP councillor Alan Givan warned the motion would potentially “damage community relations”.
“Some people would regard the addition of an Irish sign as cultural branding of an area.
"The motion allowing 15% to make that decision, overriding the 85% of an area who wishes would've been overridden, that would be unfair and undemocratic.
"The motion would damage community relations in many areas of Lisburn and Castlereagh which are currently living in harmony."
Speaking after the meeting, Ryan Carlin said: “It’s extremely disappointing that parties on Lisburn and Castlereagh Council have blocked a proposal to implement a more progressive street signage policy in the Council area.
“This runs contrary to the growing and vibrant Irish language community across our council area.
“The current bilingual signage policy is outdated and does not reflect this changing community and desire to see bilingual signage erected across the council area.”