New hope for Sneaton housing

Sneaton Catle Farm land
Sneaton Catle Farm land

THE developer behind the controversial failed Tesco proposal has asked the council to consider changing the rules regarding new developments in Whitby.

S Harrison Developments Ltd, based in York, has suggested that Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) extend the boundary for designated housing land to incorporate fields at Sneaton Castle.

The firm’s submissions come as part of a consultation process being carried out by SBC about the development framework for Whitby – a document which will designate what should be determined housing, industrial or green space land for the next five to 10 years.

The area that S Harrison Developments Ltd believes should be changed to allow for housing was the focus of last year’s £40 million bid which would have seen a Tesco supermarket, 90 affordable homes, a petrol station, sheltered accommodation and a medical type facility.

Councillors on SBC’s planning committee voted against it and the company subsequently withdrew plans.

There is no suggestion it has submitted any new planning applications but Harrison’s has put forward ideas for the land, should the limits be changed.

This includes 62 private houses, 50 affordable properties, 28 sheltered bungalows, 50 sheltered apartments and a PCT and care home.

Residents in the High Stakesby and Castle Road area fear the latest development could lead to another housing bid and have employed a planning consultant to fight their case.

They told the Gazette: “We believe that the town development framework limits should not be extended as this would open the floodgates to developments on a large scale around the town.

“This would have an adverse impact on the unique character of Whitby.

“However, we can only do our best to oppose any proposed extension in our area.

“Many properties in the town remain unsold or unoccupied. We do not need any more of these.

“We think that development of brownfield sites for social housing as opposed to ‘affordable’ housing should be the first priority.”

David Walker, the forward development manager for SBC, said proposals didn’t mean anything at this stage and there would be a long process and further public consultations should it be decided to extend building lines around Whitby.

He added: “They are trying to make the case that the land could be allowed for something more useful.

“As part of our process they have suggested that land might be suitable for open market housing and affordable housing.”

S Harrison Developments director, David Clancy, said: “Whitby desperately needs more housing.

“There are insufficient brownfield sites to meet that need.

“The land at High Stakesby is one of several sites being considered to accommodate local homes for local people and we are one of a number of organisations making comment to the council as it considers future development options.

“We haven’t submitted any planning application for the site but if we can help reduce the community’s chronic housing shortage we will be happy to do so.

“Of course there are those who want to see no more building in Whitby but this is simply not a viable option.”