Planning decision goes against expert advice on water scheme

West Garth residents against housing development on this land. 093590b'pic Andrew Higgins 28/08/09 in News
West Garth residents against housing development on this land. 093590b'pic Andrew Higgins 28/08/09 in News
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There was a victory for Cayton residents when councillors ignored officer advice and refused to approve an application.

The decision was taken by members of Scarborough Council’s Planning Committee when they were considering whether or not to vary conditions for a proposed housing development.

The scheme, which included underground storage for excess rainwater, had been supported by a number of agencies including Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and Scarborough Council’s engineers.

But councillors echoed residents’ concerns that the area, on land west of Station Road and south of West Garth, was the lowest point in Cayton and already prone to flooding.

Brian Heywood, a spokesman for the Cayton Residents Action Group, told members: “Passing this application would be complacent in the face of climate change, elevate tick-box bureaucracy over joined-up, sensible, responsible planning, and create conditions for an ecological and human disaster – and all for 32 affordable homes.”

He said there was also a danger that a nearby aquifier, a source of drinking water, could be contaminated by raw sewage in times of flood and nearby drainage ditches could also become clogged with debris.

Peter Morris, a director with Barratt Homes, said they had taken the issue very seriously over the pastfour years so they could deliver the new homes that the borough needed.

Cllr John Blackburn, who represnts residents living in Cayton, said he was supporting their concerns. He said: “If the drinking water was to become contaminated the consequences to Scarborough would be catastrophic.”

Six committee members were against the plan and five were in favour of it – there were also two abstentions – and it is likely there will be an appeal.