Building a town three miles out of Scarborough – that’s how the new Middle Deepdale site has been described by the developers.
The new estate is among the answers to what has been referred to as a ‘chronic shortage’ of housing in the area.
Since development started in 2014, more than 200 new homes have been built on the site, situated between Scarborough and Eastfield, by developers Kebbell Homes and Keepmoat.
When the development is complete in more than a decade’s time, Middle Deepdale will consist of 1,350 homes on the 400-acre plot.
It’s not just a housing estate – a new primary school, retail units and a bridge connecting the A165 and the A64 are all part of the new ‘town inside a town’.
Andrea Fawell, sales and marketing manager for Kebbell Homes, which owns the site, said: “We’ve been able to create new homes in an area where there really was a shortage of them.
The whole area has been allocated for housing because there’s a chronic shortage and they’ve got to go somewhere.”
So far 122 homes have been built by Kebbell on the Cornelian Fields site and only four stand unoccupied. A plot of land was also sold to developer Keepmoat which is set to build 595 homes on the site before 2033.
Phase one of the Capella development is well underway with 65 of the 182 homes built – including 60 available for affordable rent.
Regional managing director for Keepmoat, Chris Penn, said: “From our point of view we see it as a cornerstone development. We have positive sales and it’s a flagship development in terms of its size. We get good feedback and the site has a really nice feel to it.”
Among the other major housing developments is High Mill at Scalby, with a mix of more than 140 new homes in varying styles and textures south of Field Lane, created by Taylor Wimpey.
Once farmland, part of the site was first bought by the company’s managing director decades ago.
“It came from a handshake with a farmer more than 25 years ago,” said Linda Tillisch, regional sales manager. “Thomas Kebbell, who started the company, came and bought the 90 odd acres just on a handshake.
“He always had a vision that he would build here and Nick [his son and current managing director] has carried on with it, which has been quite an undertaking really.
“It’s a big commitment when Scarborough isn’t terribly affluent – in terms of it’s not like building in Harrogate or York –it’s a bit of a risk really for a developer to go well that’s what we’re going to do.”
What is being built in Middle Deepdale?
“It’s building a small town with all the infrastructure that goes with it,” said Linda.
Currently plans for a multimillion pound bridge, which will connect the A165 with the A64, are in the early stages with the project set to begin in five years.
Infrastructure such as drainage, roads and a new roundabout has already costs Kebbell Homes in the region of £8million.
“The money is in the ground. We’ve got the bridge which will be another £5million. It’s really big, from a Kebbell point of view it’s a really firm undertaking for the people of Scarborough. It’s a massive thing – it will take 15 to 20 years,” adds Linda.
One of the upcoming projects is the development of a new primary school which will be suitable for 420 pupils to attend. The school, which is hoped will be ready to open by September 2020, will merge with Overdale Community Primary School which will close.
“There’s a lot of conversation that goes on with North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council and they decided they wanted to close Overdale School which will merge with this one – it’s always been a part of the deal,” said Linda, who has worked for the developers for 20 years.
Retail units are currently available under the 60-bed nursing home, Jazz Court, with a hairdressers and a cafe already moved in – and two units still available.
Jill Hayward, Kebbell Homes site sales manager, said: “There are units available there which is great, we’re hoping to get a nice little shop there. We hope in time it would be nice if there would be a larger supermarket to come on but we don’t know.”
Work will begin next month by ENGIE, formerly Keepmoat Regeneration, to build 24 one or two-bed bungalows and a communal area as part of a shelter accommodation scheme for over 55s.
What has the development done to boost the local economy?
In the past four years, 306 workmen have been inducted on the site and dozens of apprentices have benefited from two-weeks experience – learning from ground workers, joiners and bricklayers at the Skills Village.
The land for the skills village was provided by Kebbell to help “home-grow” workers.
Andrea said: “What we realised, when we started building here, was Scarborough has a shortage of trained, skilled professionals.”
As both Kebbell Homes and Keepmoat were building simultaneously, bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and ground workers were all at a “premium”.
She added: “The chronic shortage of those skills were very noticeable here and in fact what occurs to me is that by the very nature of where we are there’s a relatively small pool of a population we can pull on because half of the local area is the sea.
“We thought it would be great if we could help train them.”
Who is living in the new development?
Having been selling the homes to new residents for the past three years, Jill has made the decision to move to the development to be part of the tight-knit community.
She said: “We’ve had quite a lot of local people that have moved from in Scarborough certainly from the Victorian terraces up there. Obviously they’ve got their own garage and parking and they don’t have to worry about that.
“We’ve got people that have moved from Leeds, Cambridge, Swindon and Harrogate. The draw for people is definitely the coast. I think they also say they want a nicer life for the children growing up so they can be by the beach.”
Keepmoat’s Chris Penn says they have seen the majority of new residents on site are young families although there are some older occupiers. It’s around a 70/30 split of people that have moved locally and relocated from further afield.
Facilities such as the nursing home and the planned school are also a big draw.
Peter Lang, who lives in Cornelian Fields with partner Mark Grimwood, said: “A real bonus for me is that the development has a sheltered accommodation complex on site. This is great for me, as I hope to move my elderly mother here which will allow me to care for her and know that she’s safe and nearby.”