Raithwaite's £40m Whitby expansion plans rejected

The Raithwaite Estate at Sandsend, near Whitby
The Raithwaite Estate at Sandsend, near Whitby

Controversial plans for a luxury £40 million expansion by The Raithwaite Estate in Sandsend were rejected today by Scarborough Council's planning committee.

Yorkshire Ventures wanted to build a complex of 62 forest lodges, 64 apartments, and 64 cottages, a restaurant, swimming pool, gym, tennis court, cafe, creche and a shop in a holiday village expansion plan.

Scarborough Council planning officers had recommended the plans be approved but its planning committee was not convinced.

Objections were raised from a number of parties, significantly, The Woodland Trust, which said that the plans would destroy irreplaceable ancient woodland, affecting wildlife living there.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust also opposed the proposal, citing concerns the expansion would have on nature.

The North York Moors National Park Authority was another main objector.

A number of councillors expressed the view that while the development would be high quality it was simply too big for the location and would have a significant, adverse impact on the area.

One particular obstacle was a restaurant built into a hill side, which was described by Cllr John Nock as "like something out of a James Bond film."

Cllr Colin Haddington went further, saying it looked like a war time bunker.

Raithwaite claimed the development would employ more than 80 people and create jobs for a further 400 in the local economy.

The estate can appeal the council's decision.

Jack Taylor, Woodland Trust campaigner, said: “We are thrilled that the committee saw fit to ignore their officer’s recommendation and throw out these destructive proposals which would have caused four hectares of damage and loss to a precious, irreplaceable ancient woodland and the wildlife within it. We would like to thank the committee and all our supporters who campaigned to save this vital habitat.

“While this is great news for the local area, Raithwaite was just one of more than 700 woods under threat and we need to continue to stand up for trees to ensure they are safeguarded from development threats.”