The potential developer of a derelict former factory in the centre of Whitby has said he is stunned after the borough council went against the recommendations of its own officers.
Plans to replace the old Hoggarth’s Lemonade Factory at Spital Bridge with five new houses and a block of flats were rejected by the borough council’s planning committee last Thursday.
This was despite officers recommending the £1million development be given the go-ahead.
“We are very disappointed,” said Ian Storer of Open Aspect Property Solutions. “We had done everything we thought that was necessary and complied with all the advice we got from the planners. The plan was recommended for approval, but the council in their wisdom rejected it.”
Potential buyers had already registered an interest in the site, but now the developers say they must consider their options, including whether to appeal the decision, before deciding how to proceed.
Objectors and neighbours had called on the committee to defer a decision for a site visit but the eight councillors, including Whitby’s Dorothy Clegg, felt that there were enough concerns with the plans to warrant outright refusal.
Cllr Clegg said she was “torn” as “the building is very ugly and will one day fall down on its own” but could not approve it in its current form.
Cllr Eric Broadbent echoed the sentiment of other councillors when he questioned the lack of available parking. He added: “It’s a complete over-development of the site.”
The concerns of the councillors with regards to parking came as a surprise to Mr Storer, as the planning advice had been for there to be no allocated parking, so the development would replicate a traditional Whitby yard. Mr Storer said: “Apparently the councillors don’t approve of that.”