Controversial new homes in village look set for approval

COUNCILLORS ARE being advised to back plans to build about 34 new homes in a north Yorkshire village despite objections from more than 200 people.

The proposed development on grassland off Shires Lane, Embsay, near Skipton, has prompted a wave of opposition.

Some 229 people have written to Craven Council opposing the scheme and two have written in support.

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It is also proposed to provide land for a nine-a-side football field and to gift the existing football pitch to the south of the site as part of the development.

Critics claim the scheme, which would include a 40 per cent provision for affordable housing, would “urbanise the village” and spoil the view from the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, affecting tourism. They fear the infrastructure of the village cannot cope with the increased population.

But members of Craven Council’s Planning Committee will be advised to approve the outline application when they meet today.

In a report for councillors, Embsay and Eastby Parish Council says: “The local community has concerns over specific issues relating to this application such as school places, the poor junction at Shires Lane/East Lane and the loss of parking in Shires Lane which is used by occupants of the older terraced housing in East Lane.”

The parish council is particularly concerned about the effect on the community in relation to the existing sewerage infrastructure and fears the development, together with a possible further 100 new homes at Eastby and 
Embsay will “have a significant effect on the existing problems with the sewerage infrastructure.”

However, those supporting the scheme say affordable housing is “much needed” and claim that the new homes would give locals a greater choice in terms of housing.

The report says: “It is considered that the proposal to develop the site for housing is acceptable and could potentially be designed in a way that could be compatible with the character of the area.”