CONTROVERSIAL plans have been submitted to build at least 300 homes in a picturesque North Yorkshire village.
The plans, from Gladman Developers, would see the properties built in Kirkbymoorside, the 3,000 populated market town in the landscape of renowned poet Thomas Parker.
The proposal, which includes affordable housing, would also see residential apartments built offering 24-hour care services for elderly people.
The developers said the project plan is in a sustainable location close to the town centre, and will provide significant community benefits alongside much needed new housing.
However, the proposal is under fire from local residents, with many voicing reservations about the scale of the scheme and its impact on the area.
Steven Peters, 59, a resident of Kirkbymoorside whose house backs on to the fields, said: “I am not keen on anyone building in my own back garden, but it is the whole impact of the town which is my priority.
“This housing development will be our person quota for the next 15 years in one large hit.
“The employment opportunities, which aren’t that good in the area, won’t match the number of people.
“I have not met anyone who is happy with it. Residents are worried that if this plan goes ahead it will upset our balance and increase our population by a quarter.”
He added: “Of course there are benefits to the community, but this is a historic area. #
“Once we lose that, it is gone forever.”
Kirkbymoorside’s Western Field, has many links to history and literature, and is the former home to poet Thomas Parker.
The field, seen from the A170, gently slopes under an impressive wood which welcomes visitors to “The Gateway to the Moors”.
Four local writers, including 19th and 20th century poets and commentators Thomas Parker, Arthur Cussons, Herbert Read and Richard Fletcher, celebrate the area in their work for its beauty, cultural significance and mystery.
Gladman developer Tim Dean said: “These benefits include contributions towards the upgrade of the local school, and provisions of public open space – including children’s play areas and landscaped parkland.
“The scheme will integrate the existing town and help support the building of the Kirkbymoorside community in a sensitive manner.”
John Dean, councillor of Beadlam and also a history and poetry expert, said: “I visit Kirkbymoorside almost every day on the bus, the views are special and it is a lovely town.
“Lots of people walk in the fields for the beauty of it, and you see a lot of walkers in the town heading in the direction of the field. The area is very popular.
“It should be the concern of all people in Ryedale, not just residents of West Pastures or Kirkbymoorside.”
Mr Dean set up the Herbert Read society and used to organise walks for poetical and walking enthusiasts to understand more about the history and to admire the fabulous views.
“The estate would ruin the countryside, and Thomas Parker would have mobilised a campaign against these ideas if he was alive.”
Kirkbymoorside will decide its position on the plans in an upcoming council meeting, to which the public are invited to attend.
A report from the National Housing Federation painted a bleak picture of the North’s housing market, showing that house prices in Yorkshire and Humberside have risen faster than in any other region and almost four times faster than regional incomes in the past decade.
It requires 2.1 times the average income in Yorkshire and Humberside – around £41,520 – to obtain a mortgage for the average property, even with a 10 per cent deposit.