Last gasp appeal for playing field fight

A NEIGHBOURHOOD Group fighting to save local playing fields from being built on found out this week that they have been granted an 11th hour appeal.

It had been expected that Yorkshire Coast Homes would start works to build over 70 homes on the site within a matter of weeks after being sold the land by Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) and also granted planning permission.

But on Wednesday a team of solicitors acting for Helredale Neighbourhood Council (HNC) won a legal hearing which has put the development on hold.

When HNC failed to get the area, which has been used for decades by local families and kids for recreation, designated as a village green at a public inquiry last year it appealed against the decision.

That was knocked back and a written appeal against that decision was also dismissed but at a court in Leeds on Wednesday, barristers acting for HNC won an oral appeal.

It means now that on certain points of law HNC can now challenge the outcome of the judicial review.

Viv Wright, secretary of HNC, has fought tooth and nail against the development, which would be at the end of her garden, since plans were first aired five years ago.

She told the Whitby Gazette the news had come as a shock and the group would now be looking at how to make their case.

She said: “We did a written appeal but that was turned out but we had the opportunity to do an oral appeal. The only thing I had in the back of my mind was you have a better chance when you have somebody stood there being able to argue the points put forward.

“That was in the back of my mind clinging on to that hope but thinking we probably wouldn’t get it. I am still taking it in really because we had been told that YCH were ready to start building at the beginning of August.

“I was looking out at the fields the other night and thinking it will be a building site before long but they can’t do anything until we get another decision.”

A similar case in Redcar took another two years before it eventually got to the High Court but Viv and the HNC, plus the members of public supporting them are more than prepared to fight on.

She added: “It has been worth sticking with it, it is fantastic – don’t let them wear you down.”