Calls on residents to oppose council plans

HELREDALE Neighbourhood Council is handing out over a hundred letters to local residents as it questions the legalities of plans to sell off two areas of open space.

It is asking residents to sign and return the pro forma letters, addressed to Scarborough Borough Council (SBC),

The letter, drawn up after the publication of notices revealed SBC is planning to dispose of the land it owns at Helredale playing fields and St Peter’s Road, argues that communities have rights under The Localism Act to nominate assets of local value.

HNC is also arguing that while this application, and a separate one to have Helredale Playing Fields classed as a village green, are still pending then the land should not be “disposed” of.

At a meeting of HNC on Tuesday night secretary Viv Wright said: “It is worth putting in a letter letting them know we are not just sitting back, we are challenging what’s going ahead.

“Anybody who wants to object to the playing field being sold, they have the right to and it can be anyone in Whitby.

“That is the important thing at the minute, the sale of the land.”

The areas of land in question are set to be built on by Yorkshire Coast Homes with 105 new properties being built across the two sites.

Originally the plans were for social housing but due to government cuts in funding YCH is now making 14 of these available for sale on the open market, but the move has raised legal questions.

Joe Bollands, of Larpool Crescent, said at the meeting: “The housing association was supposed to get housing stock - the house and the gardens - and now they have taken over the garages and increased the rent.

“There was no mention of that in any of the consultations. The reason SBC wanted them to take the houses was because they could get funds from government grants to build rented accommodation, nothing to do with private accommodation - they are a charity.”