A contentious plan to expand a holiday village into an ecological habitat has been approved after the applicant agreed to create a new meadow for wildlife elsewhere in the borough.
More than 130 people objected to the plans from Essential Vivendi Ltd to build 75 holiday lodges at The Bay in Filey.
Scarborough Borough Council had previously refused the company permission for 116 lodges on the site, which serves as a nature reserve for The Bay and open area for the residents. The applicant appealed the decision and lost.
However, on Thursday the council’s planning committee granted approval for the smaller scheme after the applicant agreed to create a meadow for birds, bats and great crested newts in nearby Flixton to offset the loss of land at The Bay.
Even then the granting of permission was by the narrowest of margins.
Following a tied vote of seven and seven the planning committee chairman, Cllr Phil Trumper (Con), exercised his power to break the deadlock and voted again to approve the scheme.
The committee heard that 137 people had objected, though the true strength of feeling may not have been known.
Scarborough Council planning officer Nick Read, in response to a question from Labour councillor Richard Moody, said that some objectors had said that people who have properties at The Bay had been unable to comment on the plans.
He said: “I’m told by some of the residents that there is a clause in their lease preventing them from objecting to any proposals on the development.”
Cllr Dilys Cluer (Green) said she could not understand why people who lived on the site could not speak out.
She said: “This meadow was never meant to be developed so I think the residents should have been allowed to object.
“I still think this is intruding into the open countryside without any firm justification.”
Cllr Roberta Swiers (Con) added that the development had lost its sheen.
She said: “When we first gave permission to these homes a couple of years ago I thought it was a fantastic place. I still think that but I do think it is being wasted by these small little lodges. I think it is losing its class and its style.”
Other councillors, however, backed the expansion.
Cllr Eric Broadbent (Lab) said: “This is part of the coastal scene… I think it is a brilliant development.
“In my opinion, they are trying to attract a different clientele, someone who wants a more casual holiday. I just think it is expanding our borough in the right direction with the right high class of properties.”
Cllr David Chance (Con) added: “The original application which went to appeal I was very much against but this, however, is quite different. I’m very relaxed about this one.”
Following the approval, the replacement meadow will be created A1039 Main Street in Flixton, though it will not be open to the public