Developer wants to build eight holiday apartments on site of Whitby cottages destroyed in 2012 landslide

Plans to build holiday apartments on the site of a landslide that destroyed several Whitby cottages have been submitted to Scarborough Council.

In 2012 a landslide destroyed several cottages on Aelfleda Terrace, Whitby, and now a proposal to build eight new holiday apartments on the site has been submitted to the council.

Scarborough Council’s Planning and Development Committee will meet on Thursday 7 July to decide on whether to approve the plans which council officers have suggested should be refused.

This follows a similar proposal by the same developer, Kris Blake of AJ Builders (Hull), who in 2019 eventually withdrew the plans for eight apartments on the site.

The cottages were demolished following the 2012 landslide

In 2019, the proposal received more than 50 objections and this time the consultation process has resulted in eight letters of objection from five different individuals.

A wide range of concerns were highlighted by the public, including several objections on the grounds of parking as well as fears about structural stability following the landslide.

One objection stated that “the application increases the parking requirement in an area which has very severe parking problems already”.

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Damage caused by the 2012 landslide

Another objection added that the area was already “full of holiday let people parking” and that finding a parking space “will be even harder.”

A report from the Highway Authority states the use of the eight properties – three units more than the five that originally occupied the site – would be likely to add to the existing pressures of parking provision for visitors and residents to the detriment of highway safety.

Two objectors also suggested that “daylight and sunlight will be much reduced” with concerns about the proposed building casting a shadow over neighbouring properties.

However, a council report prepared for members of the planning committee says that though there will be “some loss of direct sunlight” to neighbouring properties, the light levels “at and within neighbouring dwellings are highly likely to remain at an acceptable level.”

Concerns about structural safety were raised at various times during the council’s consultation process, with a council planner describing the site as “a logistical nightmare”, adding in an email to a colleague that without agreement from various parties the development would “not even get out of the ground”.

Although the council’s engineers advised that the site is “generally safe for building” and that matters relating to slope stability “could be addressed by planning condition”, there is a recommendation for the application to be rejected.

The 11-page report to the planning committee notes that though “advice was generally positive” council agents were “informed of concerns relating to scale and highway concerns”.

It adds that the planning objections were “so fundamental” that officers concluded that refusal was “the only decision which was appropriate in this case” although “there may be scope for a reduced scale development on this site”.