Village faces defeat in homes fight

Mark Branagan

VILLAGERS look set to lose the first round of their battle to stop the building of more than 1,700 homes after planning officials recommended approval for the first 500 despite the scrapping of national house-building targets.

Residents of the Domesday Book village of Scalby, near Scarborough, had hoped the coalition Government’s removal of Whitehall influence from local government house-building would kill redevelopment plans for High Mill Farm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Developers want to build 520 houses on the outskirts of the community. But there have been hundreds of objections that the scheme will swamp local services, lead to huge traffic problems, and spoil the area by creating a “second village”.

As reported by the Yorkshire Post, despite outline planning consent being granted, the scheme is to go back to Scarborough Council for another look because of the scrapping of the national guidelines.

But the scheme is again recommended for approval on Thursday, October 7, in a report published yesterday by planning officers – who say they need to put the need to create jobs and affordable housing before the objections.

Scalby Village Trust had argued that the scheme should be rejected because it is outside the permitted development limits of the village and therefore in breach of the Local Plan.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But council head of regeneration Pauline Elliott said: “It is in the socio-economic topics where the development is considered to score most highly.

“These include the provision of additional housing – including affordable units – employment and a contribution towards making Scarborough a more self-sustaining community.”

If the councillors side with the officials it will be a setback to the fight against broader plans to build 1,720 homes on three sites in the village at Northfield Way/Castlemount, Ridge Green, and High Mill Farm.

Before the election, Labour’s planning policies required Scarborough Council to grant permission for 560 dwellings each year up to 2026 – with the need to provide a broader mix of housing meant looking at green field sites on the edge of town.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new Government wants to hand the power back to town halls. However, Ms Elliott argues the benefits of increased housing supply and growth from the High Mill Farm scheme still have to be considered.

“This in addition to the significant weight given to national and regional planning policies since they are more up to date than the Local Plan,” she added.

“Approval would result in the development of a green field site of significant scale, but it is considered this site represents the best opportunity to meet short-term supply requirements and wider objectives for housing, whilst minimising harm to wider planning and environmental issues.”

Village trust chairman Caroline Pindar said: “Short-term does not sound very good. Housing is not short-term. The trust are very disappointed with the recommendation after there was such a huge uproar of public opinion, including 700 objections to the original application.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As a trust, we had been hoping for the report to recommend refusal. Now we see otherwise we will be consulting with the local population again because it will be the community that will be left with the problems when the spotlight moves on.

“The Local Plan has been in existence for a long time. You don’t want to be setting precedents by ‘updating’ a plan using bad decisions.

“The strategic planning is absolutely missing.”

The scheme will eventually trigger a number of payments to services, including 1.4m to Newby and Scalby Primary School.

But Mrs Pindar regarded some proposals as laughable – such as a 150 voucher to every household to buy a bicycle.