A proposal to build housing estate on “eyesore” former Ministry of Defence site has been approved, despite concerns over a lack of car parking spaces and ‘garages’ that are too small to fit cars.
Richmondshire councillors passed the plans for 40 two, three and four-bedroom homes at Somerset Close, off Gough Road, Catterick Garrison after hearing it would bring a brownfield site back into use and create housing ahead of demand rising as Government changes will see more soldiers stationed in the town.
Ahead of the meeting, a spokesman for the developers, MJ Gleeson, said there was no issue with parking at the proposed estate.
He said: “All of the houses enjoy private amenity space at the front and to the rear. All parking provision has been designed in accordance with Council Highways standards. All plots have at least two car parking spaces and the scheme also incorporates a number of visitor car parking spaces in accordance with highways advice.”
But councillor Angie Dale raised questions at the authority’s planning committee over how many of the proposed properties had internal garages that were too small to house cars. She said such structures should not be considered garages.
The authority’s planning manager Bart Milburn replied: “That’s absolutely true. Rather than say how many of them have got it [small garages] we have just discounted them, it’s just a storage area.”
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Mr Milburn said the planning authority had examined how many of the 40 properties met the two parking spaces standard and found nine did not, but 12 had an over-provision. He said 67 parking spaces were needed across the site and the plans said 73 spaces would be provided.
Mr Milburn said to reject a plan over parking, the council needed “demonstrable evidence that it will have an impact on the highway”.
He said: “The fact that people park higgledy-piggledy within the estate is not really the end of the world, although it doesn’t look great. The issue is if it spills out onto the highway and causes a highway impact.”
Coun Dale said due to potential parking problems in part of the estate, hazards would be created on “a really busy road that is already overflowing with cars”. She added: You are literally dicing with death.”
Coun Lorraine Hodgson said: “If you are selling a house with a garage you need to be able to fit a car in, especially if it is counted as a car parking space.”
“There is no reason why this can’t go back to the drawing board so it has the correct parking for the number of people.”