Villagers oppose affordable homes plan

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NATIONAL park chiefs will meet with villagers in the new year to discuss concerns after the biggest outcry they have ever witnessed over an affordable housing scheme.

The development for eight semi-detached houses on Hinderwell Lane on the western edge of Runswick Bay has prompted more than 60 objections from residents.

A planning application from the firm behind the scheme, Nottinghamshire-based Millcroft Affordable Homes, had been recommended for approval at a North York Moors National Park Authority planning meeting on Thursday last week.

But a decision has been pushed back until the new year and senior officials will now meet with villagers to learn more about their concerns.

The authority’s director of planning, Chris France, confirmed the proposals had generated the largest amount of opposition ever seen for an affordable housing scheme in the national park.

He added: “We will be seeking meetings with objectors before any decision is made by the planning committee.”

The biggest concerns centre on flash flooding which has previously blighted the development site, while residents also claim there is no direct affordable housing needs in Runswick Bay itself.

However, the developers have stressed that housing needs surveys had identified a critical need for affordable homes in the surrounding district.

Latest figures from the National Housing Federation have revealed that in North Yorkshire, which is the region’s most desirable location, the average cost of a home is £223,065, while the average wage is less than £20,000.

The agent for Millcroft Affordable Homes, Derek Roe, said: “We are confident this scheme will address the need for affordable homes. We will continue our dialogue with the national park authority before the application is considered again by the planning committee.”