Sixty new homes on land near Whitby Abbey set to be approved
A decision on whether to build more than 60 new homes can be built on land near Whitby Abbey could finally be taken next week.
Earlier this month, Scarborough Council’s planning committee deferred deciding on Wharfedale Homes Limited’s request to put 62 homes in a field off Green Lane, not far from the iconic structure which looms over the town.
The application had been recommended for approval but members had concerns about access to the site and the impact the increase in vehicle movements would have.
Following a site visit, the plans will now go back before the same committee when it meets on Tuesday May 4 - and once again they are recommended for approval.
Across two separate consultations, 52 letters of objection were sent to the borough council by residents regarding fears about overdevelopment of the site, traffic issues and the impact on the nearby homes that would be overlooked.
The two consultations were required after Wharfedale changed its original plan, which was to build 58 houses and a block of 12 flats.
That was then changed to 57 houses and five one-bedroom flats.
A total of 19 of the properties would be classed as affordable.
Following the deferment the applicant has now also agreed to pay £25,876 in local NHS contributions to help offset the cost of providing primary care infrastructure to deal with the increase in population.
The contribution had not been requested at the NHS at the time the first meeting took place.
At the meeting on April 8 one of the objectors, Joyce Powell, told councillors that the access via Green Lane could not cope with the increase in traffic the development would bring.
She said: “There is hardly a day goes by without vehicles experiencing a near miss or congestion problems.
“I myself have had my car almost written off when trying to access Green Lane.
“The problems are further compounded in the tourist season when traffic increases tenfold as visitors to the numerous caravan and camping sites begin to arrive.”
The new report prepared for councillors notes that the land is part of the council’s Local Plan which had been signed off by a planning inspector.
It adds: “Finally on the point of highways, officers would suggest that it should be held in mind that there are no sites where development would have zero highways impact or that are ideal from every perspective.
“The National Planning Policy Framework sets the threshold for refusal of planning applications from a highway perspective, and it states that consent should only be withheld where the impact on the network in terms of residual or cumulative impacts would be ‘severe’.
“Given that this site is allocated for housing and has been considered suitable for such a use from a highways and transport perspective by the examining inspector, and as the Highway Authority has not objected to the proposal, your officers would suggest that clearly and evidentially this threshold is not breached in this case.”