A DEAL which will see a North Yorkshire council sell off land used for recreation by children for a housing development has been approved.
The move will mean half an acre of land at Harvest Way, Eastfield, Scarborough, will be sold by Scarborough Borough Council to raise cash for the local authority.
A report prepared by the council’s director of business support, Nick Edwards, confirmed Eastfield Parish Council has said the land is used by youngsters for recreation, but he maintained there are five other open play areas nearby.
“Initial consultation with ward councillors and the local Eastfield Parish Council has resulted in mixed feedback and raised concerns about the loss of open space in the area,” Mr Edwards said.
The decision to back the sale plans was agreed by the cabinet member for harbours, assets, coast and flood protection, Coun Mike Cockerill. The amount that the sale will generate has not been disclosed. Coun Cockerill backed in principle the freehold disposal of the land and approved a marketing budget of £1,000.
In his report, Mr Edwards said that selling the land will allow the council to “obtain a capital receipt to be used to assist the council meet its corporate objectives”.
“Selling the land for housing development would complete the crescent and potentially add a number of affordable homes to the area depending on the total number of homes built,” he added.
Town halls are braced for more swingeing cuts as the Government continues to slash spending and last year the council warned it then expected to have to enforce savings of almost £5m in the coming years, placing more services under threat.
Members of Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet were told at the time it was predicted the local authority will have to find savings of more than £4.9m in 2014/15 and 2015/16. Senior council officers have admitted the need to balance budgets represents a “huge challenge”.