Housing plan for former pig farm near Wensleydale Railway given green light by councillors

A plan to create a housing estate on a former pig farm beside a heritage railway has been approved after overcoming numerous concerns, including over road safety and flooding.

Hambleton District Council’s planning committee has given York-based developer Blind Lane Land outline planning consent to build up to 88 homes off the lane at Aiskew, near Bedale, south of the A684 and north of the Wensleydale Railway.

The site features a number of agricultural and commercial buildings, previously used as a piggery, which have been vacant for a number of years and have become overgrown.

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A decision over the scheme was postponed last month over the use of Blind Lane for access to the new estate, the adoption and traffic modelling at Bluebell Way and whether the proposed 30 per cent affordable housing on the site was achievable.

The land off Blind Lane where the homes will be built

Residents had highlighted that as Bluebell Way had not yet been adopted by by the council it should be considered a private road owned by the nearby Sycamore Avenue housing development – a large number of residents from which had objected to the Blind Lane housing plan.

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Ahead of the meeting, resident Alison Davies wrote: “As many people have already noted, Bluebell Way is not a suitable through road for the quantity of traffic that would arise from 88 houses – and it was not built to be like that – both with the on-street parking of cars, children playing and the lack of visibility on the turning onto Sycamore Avenue.”

A Wensleydale Railway spokesman said following discussions with representatives a potential developer it was willing to withdraw its concerns about the proposed development subject to the user worked level crossing over the railway at Blind Lane being remodelled by the developer to mitigate the risk of increased pedestrian usage created by the development.

They said the work needed to include the re-siting of the roadway gates and provision of separate kissing gates and a crossing surface for pedestrian users.

Officers told the committee a single set of manually operated drop-down bollards and fixed kerbing had been proposed for the northern section of Blind Lane only to ensure 24-hour acceess to the estate.

Councillors were told other than considering the concept of having an 88-home estate on the site, the only matter for approval was over access. The remaining matters, such as appearance, landscaping, layout and scale would be for a later application.

Officers said the main access to the estate would be taken from the west through the neighbouring development via Bluebell Way. Emergency and further pedestrian access would be taken from Blind Lane.

The meeting heard emergency access controlled to stop residents using it by installing a drop-down bollard.

Bedale councillor Mike Barningham said issues over the estate road of Sycamore Avenue and Bluebell Way needed to be resolved before the site was adopted.

He said: “That needs to be sorted before any work commences on site otherwise we are giving planning permission for something that isn’t achievable until that is adopted.”

Coun Dave Elders called for consideration to be given to stopping motorcycles going around the bollards and using the emergency access, saying riders had been “a source of immense irritation to residents”.