One of the most controversial housing estate plans in Ryedale for several years was given the green light on a councillor’s casting vote last week.
As a result, a planning appeal against non-determination of the scheme to build 210 homes,50 apartments for older people,at Westfield, Kirkbymoorside, and provision of land to extend the local Community Primary School, is now likely to be abandoned by house-building giants Gladman Developments Ltd.
Kirkbymoorside’s Town Mayor, Cllr Chris Dowie, said the scheme, opposed by the council, was not suitable for the town and it contravened planning policy. It was also outside the development limits for Kirkbymoorside. “This is going to be taking good quality agricultural land.There are brown field sites available along with lower grade farm land which could be used”.
No allowance had been given to facilities for children and the scheme would, believed the town authority, have a detrimental effect on road safety.
Cllr David Cussons, the area representative on Ryedale District Council, moved rejection of the scheme. “We already have sites which have not been developed. This one will be sat on for years.”The site, he added, was in a flooding area.”This is good agricultural land – other land should be used when there is a shortage of food. It is wrong to take good farm land out of production like this.”
Cllr Janet Sanderson said she was concerned about the impact on the nursery unit and children’s centre at the town’s primary school, and the resulting congestion of traffic arising from the development.
The scheme also includes highway improvements, landscaping and providing open space.
But the chairman of RDC’s planning committee, Cllr John Raper, said the four main issues between the planners and Gladmans, concerning the development – archaeology, affordable housing numbers, education provision and landscaping – had now all been resolved.
At the end of a long debate, councillors who voted were tied 2-2 with all others abstaining, resulting in Cllr Raper using his casting vote to approve it.