Villagers joyful as council prepares to reject plans for 160 new homes

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RESIDENTS in a 13th century Domesday village are celebrating after it emerged controversial plans by the Duchy of Lancaster to build nearly 160 new homes are set to be rejected.

The Duchy – which is custodian of 18,700 hectares across England and Wales and provides the sovereign of the day with a source of income independent from Government and the public purse – has submitted an application for outline planning permission to build 159 homes on five different sites around Cloughton, near Scarborough.

The scheme – which has sparked outrage in the village since it was first revealed nearly five years ago – is set to go before a Scarborough Borough Council’s planning committee when it meets next Thursday.

However, the Yorkshire Post can now reveal that planning officers have recommended refusal, claiming the buildings would harm the landscape of the village and send its population rocketing by as much as 82 per cent.

Reacting yesterday, Vic Rogers, the chairman of the Residents of Cloughton Association – who is due to speak at next week’s meeting – said: “We are delighted.

“I just hope the councillors have exactly the same response to this as the planning officers.

“We have been fighting this for years and the Duchy have not listened to our concerns regarding this development.”

Protesters claim the scale of the development – which would include community facilities such as a post office, community hall and doctor’s surgery – will put a huge strain on Cloughton’s infrastructure and will clog the already heavily congested A171.

But supporters of the scheme claim it is vital to the future of Cloughton and have criticised its opponents for “nitpicking” and exaggerating concerns.

In 2009, the Duchy – which has been present in Cloughton since 1267 – was heavily criticised for publishing a glossy brochure detailing the plans to revive this “village in decline” and subtitled it “a story of community, consensus and change”.

The Advertising Standards Authority later upheld seven complaints against the wording, prompting the Duchy’s chief executive to admit aspects of the brochure were a mistake.

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