Plans for 470 homes in Bridlington deferred over calls for bigger wildlife corridor and extra football pitches

Plans for 470 homes in Bridlington have been deferred after East Riding councillors called for more parking for two proposed football pitches, a wider wildlife corridor and more bungalows.

East Riding Council’s Planning Committee voted to defer plans from developers Keepmoat Homes for the homes, sports fields and a play space on land north of Strawberry Fields, Kingsgate.

Chris Calvert, agent for the applicant, told councillors the estate would help with the regeneration of Bridlington itself but also took into account ecological concerns with corridors for wildlife.

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But Bridlington South ward member Coun Andy Walker told councillors the homes could “isolate” wildlife and block species including protected ones from roaming freely from Kingsgate Wood to the sea.

How the homes in Bridlington would look
How the homes in Bridlington would look

Several councillors also said the 16 parking spaces proposed for the estate’s two football pitches was not enough, with Cllr Anne Handley calling for deferral to get at least 30.

The deferral comes after initial or outline plans for the estate, covering 23.17 hectares, were first approved in 2014, with details or reserve matters deferred earlier this week (Thursday, July 8).

They have now been deferred for talks between council officers and the developer, with approval to follow if successful.

Plans submitted to the council proposed 12 one bedroom, 91 two, 229 three and 138 four bedroom homes.

Councillors heard eight of the 470 would be bungalows, four market homes and four affordable.

They also heard the developer had applied for Homes England grants to build 94 affordable homes after previously claiming they did not have the funds to viably include them.

Two access roads were proposed onto the estate, both from Kingsgate.

Public agencies and council officers consulted on the plans did not object, with the latter recommending them for approval stating they would not adversely impact existing residents.

But Bridlington Town Council called for their refusal, stating their impact on Kingsgate Wood was “completely unacceptable”.

A total of 15 residents also objected over fears of increased traffic, local schools and health services being overwhelmed and its environmental impact.

Coun Handley said a playing field in her ward with a lack of parking spaces had seen visitors park in nearby residents’ drives and outside their homes.

Coun Phil Davison said the estate’s four market bungalows, 0.85 per cent of the total, compared to Bridlington’s average of 4 per cent and the East Riding’s 23 per cent.

He added Bridlington was a popular area for retirees who wanted single storey homes and not flats or apartments.

Mr Calvert said: “Local policies recognise Bridlington has a unique appeal as a place to live but it needs more people and housing to get to where it wants to be.

“This provides a high quality development that is not dominated by car parking and also features a substantial amount of open space and landscaping. A total of 94 of the homes, 20 per cent of the total, will be contracted out to a registered affordable housing provider in perpetuity.

“It will provide homes of that type on a scale not seen in Bridlington for some time, if at all. The area has also not yet seen the positive bounce in the housing market of recent times.

“We understand there are concerns from residents, but this is a long standing application on allocated land and Bridlington Town Council supported it up until about a year ago.

“It’s been a long time coming and it will help the council to meet its housing targets, it’s a much needed development.”

Coun Walker said he feared for the impact on Kingsgate Wood which offered a prized outdoor space for existing residents and a home for wildlife.

He said: “There are a range of issues which concern me about this, including parking. It’s home to a range of animals, including protected species like bats and water voles, which can currently roam freely from there to the sea.

“This development would isolate wildlife, the original master plan showed a significant wildlife corridor. There’s now one that’s two metres wide, it’s not generous but at least it exists. But this is coming at a time when the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has said the UK is way short in addressing shrinking biodiversity.

“We need to avert the isolation of wildlife rather than just creating a built up environment.”

Committee Chair Coun David Tucker said: “The main overarching concern raised by all councillors who spoke was car parking and the football pitches. I also agree with the points raised about the bungalows.”