If you wanted to design a system to approve as little densification as possible, what would you do?
First, prohibit all building unless specific permission is granted.
Second, create a lengthy procedure with extensive appeals and ultimate recourse to higher levels of government, to make sure that NIMBYs get as much chance to block as possible.
Third, make sure that questions about beauty are put at the back of the queue, so that NIMBYs are as worried about new development as possible.
Fourth, make sure you have blocked as many homes as possible for forty years, so that the price of land with permission is obscene and buyers are so stretched that they just want square footage, and can’t afford to care about aesthetics.
Fifth and most importantly, make sure that every approval makes the neighbours clearly worse off (unless they have exactly equivalent property that will benefit from the precedent), and that the approval doesn't really benefit anyone in particular except the landowner.
Does any of that sound familiar?