Plan to build new village in Yorkshire 'could see Local Plan thrown out by Government inspectors'

Selby’s Local Plan could be thrown out by inspectors if the council presses ahead with a proposal for a new garden village near Escrick, according to the owners of a rival location for a new settlement.

The owners of the former RAF Church Fenton, Makins Ltd, are opposed to plans which could eventually see 3,800 homes built next to the village of Stillingfleet.

Selby District Council this week released its proposed Local Plan, a vision for the future development of the area until 2040, for consultation. The plan would deliver up to 386 homes per year and more than 12,300 full-time jobs.

The village, to be known as Heronby, was chosen as one of the three options for a major new settlement in the district.

How Heronby would look

Two other options – land at the former Burn Airfield and a site at Church Fenton Airbase – were considered less suitable by council officers.

A spokesperson for Makins said they were “very disappointed” in the decision and said their land was “more sustainable and deliverable”.

They added: “The RAF Church Fenton site has existing railway stations at Church Fenton and Ulleskelf and bus services allowing easy, sustainable access to Selby, Leeds and York.

“It is also next to the existing and growing employment site including the exciting digital and creative industries at Create Yorkshire.”

The spokesperson said Heronby had “very limited public transport opportunities and is good quality agriculture land”, adding that it was the “least sustainable option.

Read More

Read More
Meet the Wakefield TikTok couple who tackle housework in unison

“It is a real possibility that if the Heronby site is selected, it could lead to the Local Plan being found unsound at examination, resulting in a significant waste of time and public funds,” they added.

According to the council’s own analysis, constraints at Church Fenton Airbase include the fact it would require flooding mitigation, as well as there being a number of protected World War Two monuments at the periphery.

At Thursday’s Selby District Council executive meeting, senior councillors gave approval for the plan to go out to consultation – stressing that the plans could be changed.

Council leader Mark Crane said he preferred the Burn site, but said the Environment Agency had raised concerns about flooding.

He added: “That’s a great shame. We own the site at Burn and a lot of people – not everyone – in Burn were very supportive. It would have given them a bypass, it’s very close to the main conurbation, which is Selby town itself, and it would have good road and rail links.

“I do get emails and letters from people living in Stillingfleet and recognise that Heronby is not universally popular.”

A Selby District Council spokesperson added: “Members of Selby District Council’s executive have now approved the Local Plan for the next stage of this process – a formal consultation, which will take place between 26 August and 7 October.

“This version of the Local Plan has been prepared to meet all necessary planning regulations and has been informed by a range of detailed technical information, which will be available as part of the consultation exercise. The consultation will seek views on whether the Local Plan is sound and legally compliant.

“Following consideration of the responses received during the consultation, officers will then consider if the plan is ready to be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination.”