Protest over planners' premature approval

Mark Branagan

PLANNERS came under fire yesterday for recommending approval for a scheme which campaigners fear will lead to overdevelopment of a Domesday Book village.

House-builders are eyeing up three large plots near Scalby, outside Scarborough, after Scarborough Council proposed including edge of town green field sites in its development strategy.

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Yesterday, the authority announced it was recommending outline consent for an application submitted by Provincial Land Developments – before the consultation period has ended.

The scheme, due for approval on Wednesday, is for up to 485 homes, 27 live/work units and 3,500 square metres of employment space on High Mill Farm, off Field Lane. The consultation period expires today.

More than 450 people have objected to the High Mill Farm scheme, which they fear will be followed by similar proposals for the two other plots – Northfield Way/Castlemount, and Ridge Green.

Residents are furious that the High Mill Farm scheme recommendation was published before the end of the consultation period.

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Sheila Johnson, Secretary of Scalby Village Trust, said: “What they should do is dismiss the application and look at the whole of the three sites to produce an integral strategy for the whole area.”

But Planning Manager Jill Low said: “Government guidance tells us that developers can, in certain circumstances, come forward with developments in advance of an approved new Local Development Framework.”

Head of Regeneration Pauline Elliott argued planning policies required the council to grant permission for 560 dwellings each year up to 2026 – and the need to provide a broader mix of housing meant looking at green field sites on the edge of town.