Homes plan ‘will lead to loss of small town identity’

OPPONENTS fighting plans to build more than 140 homes on the outskirts of a market town say it will ruin what is “precious and unique” about the place.

More than 150 residents have objected to an application by Linden Homes to develop a green field site in open countryside, north of Woodhall Way, Molescroft, Beverley, which could get the green light this week.

Neighbours are unhappy about extra pressure on local schools and health services and worry that Beverley “is losing its small market town identity.”

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There is also concern about plans by another developer David Wilson Homes for 162 homes on land next to the ambulance station, to the north west of the site.

Founder member of North Beverley Action Group David Tucker, a senior lecturer in environmental management and sustainable business at Hull University, said: “The issue is fundamentally about whether the town of Beverley wishes to develop on its northern perimeter, because there clearly will be a domino effect.

“The feeling is if the Linden Homes application is successful, there is a stronger chance that the David Wilson Homes plan becomes successful and people need to understand that the result is that a unique and sensitive approach to the town will be ruined and over the coming years will lead right to the Bishop Burton roundabout and the whole of the northern end of the Westwood will be encompassed by housing.”

Planners say the new estate, which will include over 30 affordable properties, will help achieve housing targets – one report suggests 3,188 new homes should be built in Beverley by 2028 – and recommend approval, subject to a legal agreement, at a meeting on Thursday.

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But Green Party candidate Shan Oakes said green field sites were being lost all over the country because of “perverse” incentives which favour new builds over renovation.

While new-build is VAT free, 20 per cent VAT is payable on renovation jobs.

She added: “Real affordable homes are in the centre where you can get a bus, where you have the infrastructure, where you can walk to the shops.”

In a report, Linden Homes say there are no highways or transport-related issues to prevent the granting of planning permission.