Village angered at site picked for £3m affordable housing scheme

Mark Branagan

A controversial 3m development in an East Riding village is back on the cards as a council leader called on residents to unite behind proposals to provide badly needed affordable housing.

As reported by the Yorkshire Post, a group of villagers were furious over moves to build 23 affordable homes on a green field site in Sands Lane in Holme on Spalding Moor.

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Now Chevin Housing Association has unveiled proposals for a mixed development of 23 two- and three-bedroom homes – including two-bedroom bungalows – in Sands Lane, backed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Council chiefs stress proposals are at the consultation stage, prior to the submission of a planning application. Residents are invited to the village hall to view the plans between 3.30pm and 7pm on Thursday when staff from Chevin and the council will be there to answer questions and listen to people’s views.

In 2006, the parish council produced a parish plan in which more than half the respondents confirmed their view that affordable housing was required to meet the requirements for young families who could not otherwise compete in the housing market.

In 2007, East Riding of Yorkshire Council commissioned the Housing Needs and Market Assessment, which also concluded that there was a great need for affordable housing in the village.

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The council says demand for affordable homes is demonstrated by the fact that there are 360 households on the council house waiting list for the village, 38 of whom have put Holme on Spalding Moor as their first choice, but a total of just 44 council houses.

The council's portfolio holder for housing, Jane Evison, said: "I am pleased we are still seeing high quality schemes being proposed and promoted by our partner organisations even in this period of economic uncertainty.

"I am keen to see the development progress to the planning stage and hope the people of Holme on Spalding Moor get behind the scheme. It will go some way towards meeting the undoubted housing need for local people who might otherwise be unable to compete in the housing market in the village."

A great deal of consultation and investigation was undertaken into alternative sites before identifying Sands Lane as the preferred location for the Chevin Housing Association scheme, she added.

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A planning condition would be an iron-clad legal agreement that all the housing to be affordable and reserved for local people or those with a strong local connection, such as an elderly relative who required support.

But local resident and objector Paul Whitworth said: “We all agree there is a need for affordable housing in the village. What we don’t agree is the site. It is bonkers because it is right on the edge of the village as0 far away from the services as possible.

“We have quite a few shops and five pubs and a doctor’s surgery but all to the east.

“This plan suggests going even further west and building yet more houses as far as possible from the service. It is also a greenfield site. The implication is that people who live there will have to use cars all the time, adding to the carbon footprint. It is just a thoroughly bad idea.”

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Objectors had sent the housing association names and addresses of owners of what they regard as more sensible sites. “They have already agreed verbally at least to sell some of their land for affordable housing,” Mr Whitworth added.

“What we demand is a proper consultation about this but most importantly we want Chevin Housing to look at these sites which are much better and closer to the village centre .”

No one from Chevin was available for comment.