Letter: Beauty of town is at risk from further development

Where is local democracy?
Where is local democracy?
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Re the application for 54 houses to be built on greenfield land, Lady Edith’s Drive, Scarborough.

What is this green field worth? To us, the residents around Throxenby Lane and Lady Edith’s Drive this green field is a set of lungs; a gateway to the countryside, a light-filled local space, the reason we moved here. To the many people who use Lady Edith’s Drive to walk their dogs, ride horses and bikes or just have a gentle walk to Raincliffe Woods and Throxenby Mere, the field is a local amenity, a restful place for the eye and soul. To the wildlife around the area, the field with its pond is a place of haven, a home or a well-trodden path within a traditional territory.

What is that field worth to the people of Scarborough? In a town built and latterly most dependent on tourism, the field in question is a welcome mat for tourists, who drive along the picturesque route into Scarborough from the National Park.

But to a building company like Persimmon Homes, this field is a pot of gold; an easy place to build on without having to demolish old buildings and without the cost of dismantling existing infrastructure; a site where new buildings can steal the edge of the countryside from the people who live there.

And if this field in our neighbourhood becomes just another overpriced housing estate, then fellow Scarborians, what will be next? Will it be that little plot of green near you?

Despite Persimmon’s so-called consultation process many people living near to the site, whose environment and local amenity would be massively impacted, were not ‘consulted’ at all!

Scant, if not minimal, publicity has been afforded this potential development by either of the main parties concerned.

Where is local democracy? Shouldn’t we have a say in our environment?

Why allow one of the richest builders in the country to cash in on the beauty of our town? What we really need is those sites in our borough, currently left empty and rotting, to be brought back to life with modern housing, creative architecture and good, solid town planning.

We know that government policy is forcing councils to allow predatory builders to destroy open green space wherever they can get hold of it, but please, Scarborough Borough Council, don’t rush to make the same mistakes that were made in the 1960s; and please don’t give away our virgin countryside.

Charles Betty,

chairman,

Jan Birkett,

committee member,

Residents of Throxenby against development on Lady Edith’s Drive