Whitby residents are up in arms over plans to build modern-looking apartments to replace cottages that were lost in a devastating landslip.
The properties in shadow of Whitby Abbey in Aelfleda Terrace were left unsafe following the landslide in the middle of the night in November 2012.
Five homes were pulled down and now Kris Blake of AJ Builders (Hull) has applied to Scarborough Council for permission to build eight apartments in their place with off-site parking.
A structural engineer’s report submitted by the applicant has 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.
More than 50 people have objected to the plans, with a number upset about the “modern” glass and timber structure.
Neighbour Rachel Van Riel wrote to the council stating: “We welcome the fact that new houses are planned to be built on Aelfleda Terrace where five 19th Century cottages used to stand.
"This has been an unsightly gap in the Whitby skyline since November 2012.
“However, the proposed properties are of a size and style which is completely out of character for this important conservation area and should, therefore, be rejected.”
Whitby Town Council has 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.”
Another objector, Ruth Darling, of Esk Terrace, wrote to say: “This proposed development will adversely affect our view of the [St Mary’s] church and Abbey complex.
“It is an insensitive design, totally out of keeping with the surrounding buildings and the whole harmony of the east aspect of old Whitby.”
Steve Reynolds, the council’s residential regulation manager, has also said he cannot support the scheme as one of the bedrooms is too small compared to policy guidelines and another has no natural light or ventilation.
Whitby’s Civic Society has also lodged an objection but has admitted that not all of its members are against the scheme.
A further twist to the plan has come in the form of the lack of parking in Aelfleda Terrace.
The applicant has put in its submission that a parking area would be created next to the Whitby Abbey visitor centre car park on land owned by Scarborough Borough Council.
A spokesman for the authority, however, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it has informed the developer it has no desire to sell the land.
Kris Blake of AJ Builders (Hull) did not respond to requests for comment.