THE former site of a pipeworks could be used for the latest phase of a major redevelopment project that would see more than 250 homes built in Richmondshire.
Originally planners agreed a scheme that would see housing built on the west of the former pipeworks plant, at Colburn, on the edge of Catterick Garrison, but earmarked the east of the site for industry.
However, Colburndale Developers are now seeking outline permission to build housing in the east, rather than use it for industry.
A report prepared for members of Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee, which meets on Tuesday, recognises there are concerns locally that there will not be enough jobs for the amount of houses proposed.
But it adds: “It is important to bear in mind that in recent years employment has, and is expected to continue to, move away from jobs in traditional factory or industrial units.
“The majority of employment is now in the service sector as well as in tourism and self-employment (frequently involving home working or home based businesses).
“This is why far less land is required to build industrial units and why there is no longer justification to hold out for a proportion of the original site to be retained and serviced for such development.
“The context has changed hugely in a very short space of time.”
Developers are also planning to create office space, shops, a pub, takeaways and a nursery/crèche in the development at the former CPM Pipeworks.
A petition, signed by 61 residents, has been sent to the authority expressing concerns about the inclusion of a pub in the scheme. Letters of objection have also been sent by over 30 residents.
The British Horse Society has also raised concerns that the development would effectively obstruct and result in the closure of a well-used bridleway. However council officers say plans are in hand to put in place a diversion but say further discussions may be needed about future site plans.
Council officers say the proposals will give the area modern shopping facilities – something that will be needed if more people are to move to the area.
Officers say that following the concerns about a pub being on the site, the developers have indicated they would be willing not to include it when more detailed plans are drawn up and instead use the site for a restaurant or cafe.
The report says that, although planning permission was earlier granted for development on the allocated land, it has not progressed and now appears unlikely to proceed.
“Initial discussions have taken place with representatives of the landowner of that site about this alternative proposal and it is likely that approval of this alternative scheme would enable a different form of development to be brought forward north of Catterick Road, thereby dealing with what is currently an unsightly unused piece of land,” the report adds.
The site is divided by the A6136 Catterick Road, to the south of Colburn, on the eastern fringe of Catterick Garrison.
Immediately to the west of the site is a housing site and beyond this is a business park, which the report says had been partly redeveloped, but says recently-built speculative office units were proving difficult to let.
Officers are recommending that the application, which it is envisaged at this stage would include more than 250 homes, is given the green light by councillors.
The report concluded: “Although it had previously been envisaged that the majority of this site would be redeveloped for employment purposes, new evidence has come forward to demonstrate that this is no longer required.”
Councillors are being recommended to give the council’s planning and development manager permission to grant outline permission for the amended application subject to conditions.