Plans for controversial modern apartments on Whitby landslip site withdrawn

The site being demolished. PIC: Ceri Oakes
The site being demolished. PIC: Ceri Oakes

A controversial plan to build modern-looking apartments to replace cottages that were lost in a devastating landslip in Whitby has been withdrawn.

The properties in the shadow of Whitby Abbey in Aelfleda Terrace were left unsafe following the landslide in the middle of the night in November 2012.

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Five homes were pulled down, and earlier this year Kris Blake of AJ Builders (Hull) applied to Scarborough Council for permission to build eight apartments in their place with off-site parking.

More than 50 people objected to the scheme and now the applicant has written to the council to withdraw the plans.

A number of those who voiced their disapproval were upset about the “modern” glass and timber structure.

Whitby Town Council also objected, stating the “development would set a precedent that is not in keeping with the area or in a conservation area and unacceptably large development for this site”.

Whitby’s Civic Society lodged an objection but admitted that not all of its members were against the scheme.

A structural engineer’s report submitted by the applicant concluded that the cause of the 2012 landslip and subsequent failure, heavy rain and a leaking sewer, has been removed and the ground is now stable to built upon.

When the plans were submitted Mr Blake told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he was not a “ruthless developer” and was just trying to lift planning conditions imposed on the site following the collapse in 2012.

Mr Blake’s business carried out the repairs and made the area safe again.

He added: “Any new buildings on the site at Aelfleda Terrace cannot be re-built on a like for like basis as they will not conform to current planning and building control regulations.”

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