New homes and shops plan set for Eastfield

The Strongwood pub in Eastfield demolished.

The Strongwood pub in Eastfield demolished.

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Councillors have gone against officer advice and approved a scheme for nine homes and two shops for a derelict site in Eastfield.

The project on the site of the former Strongwood pub, in Eastway, had been recommended for refusal because it was felt the shops could have an adverse impact on eastfield High Street.

Paul Cooper, a planning officer with Scarborough Council, said: “Any (retail) expansion should be in the District Centre itself – the District Centre is in a fragile state of recovery.”

The plan proposed nine three bedroomed homes, and the two shops, and had been submitted by Central Property Developments Ltd.

The developer’s agent told members of the council’s Planning Committee: “The planning system doesn’t seek to restrict competition. This application must be determined on planning grounds.”

He added that the project would deliver important shopping for Eastfield. “The retail component will deliver 15 full and part time job opportunities in an area of deprivation,” he said.

A spokeswoman for opponents of the scheme said: “If 15 full and part time jobs are to the area that’s all very well but not if they are lost from the District Centre.”

She added that there were empty shops in the town centre and the situation would get worse if the new shops were built.

Members of Eastfield Parish Council had voted overwhelmingly in support of the application and Cllr Brian Simpson, a parish and borough councillor for the Eastfield ward, said that the District Centre could move from its present position at some point in the future. He said: “I don’t accept the reasons put forward as valuable ones for refusal.”

Cllr Eric Broadbent also disagreed with the reasons for refusal. He said: “It’s a bit like having a gun to our head to claim that supermarket is saying ‘we can’t have shops there because we will suffer’.”

Cllr Johan Zegstroo, a committee member and ward councillor, said: “These houses are needed in Eastfield – if it means shops will be built overall it’s more important to get these houses built.”

Cllr David Billing said he felt it could have a detrimental impact on Eastfield High Street.

A total of 10 councillors voted to approve the plan, three were against it and one member abstained from the vote.