LONG-AWAITED plans to transform one of North Yorkshire’s most deprived areas have been given the go-ahead by councillors.
The Middle Deepdale scheme, which has been mooted for decades, will see 1,350 homes built at North Yorkshire’s largest housing estate at Eastfield, Scarborough, making it bigger than the nearby coastal holiday town of Filey.
Councillors yesterday granted outline planning permission to K2 Regeneration for the scheme, which also includes a 60-apartment extra care complex, a primary school, a community hall, shops, footpaths, landscaping and public open spaces.
The panel also approved the detailed design for a link road with a bridge to provide a connection between the A64 and the A165.
It is hoped the scheme, which will be built on farmland designated for development since 1999, will breathe new life into the estate and provide hundreds of jobs for unemployed residents.
The development will also offer new homes for families to cater for the burgeoning offshore wind industry and plans for a multi-million pound potash mine in the North York Moors.
Speaking after the plans were approved, Councillor Tom Fox, leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said: “I’m over the moon and I’m looking forward to the next few years when we start to make a difference to the south side of Scarborough. It’s a long journey we’re on but this is the first step and it’s a very important step.”
K2 Regeneration, a partnership of Kebbell Homes and Keepmoat, will now push forward with detailed plans for phase one of the development, which includes the extra care complex and 30 homes.
Speaking on behalf of K2 Regeneration, Paula Broadbent, Keepmoat’s head of health and senior living, said: “We are delighted to secure outline planning permission as it represents a significant milestone in this important regeneration project.
“The development will transform the area for future generations and create a sustainable and healthy community over the next 10 to 15 years.
“We are excited by the potential of making a real difference to the area and bringing great economic benefit to Scarborough through our activities, including education, training and employment and building on working closely with local schools and colleges.”
Approximately 500 jobs could be created during the building period and ongoing site maintenance.
The council’s skills and employment team is also working to create as many as 100 apprenticeships through the scheme.
Senior council officers have stressed that the scheme is of “major strategic importance” to help the future economic growth of Scarborough and the regeneration of the Eastfield estate.
A study undertaken by consultants in 2005 identified the need for Scarborough’s population to grow from 60,000 to 80,000 to boost enterprise and ensure the town is able to build its reputation in the regional economy.
Last year, fears were raised that the development could be affected by the recession and decline of the construction industry.