Numerous residents of Egton, near Whitby, have urged the North York Moors National Park Authority to reject a plan to build nine homes, relocate the public car park and build mixed industrial units on land east of the High Street, saying it would prove disastrous for the village and the large-scale rural show it has hosted there for more than 140 years.
The proposal to be considered on Thursday April 7, has been lodged by the Marquis of Normanby’s 15,000-acre Mulgrave Estate and the 6,000-acre Egton Estate, which has been owned by the same family since being bought in 1869 by renowned textile manufacturer John Foster, of Black Dyke Mills, Bradford.
The scheme has been recommended for refusal.
In planning documents, agents for the estates highlight how the development would feature “principal residence housing”, which would prevent the properties from being used as holiday homes, on “a brown field site”.
The estates state the Egton Horse and Agricultural Show could continue in the agricultural field and the mixed industrial units would provide opportunities for local businesses to expand, for new businesses to broaden the village’s economic base.
The application states: “The proposal provides for economic, social, and environmental benefits through the provision of new housing and jobs for local people together with an environmental enhancement of the conservation area through the removal of large areas of car parking to a more discreet location.”
However, responses to the proposal feature dozens of objections, claiming there is no proven need for the housing or industrial units, which would ruin the character of the village and exacerbate traffic and flooding issues.
Residents of Egton and the surrounding area said a significant reduction in the space available for the show would make it unviable.
Life-long residents of the village said it was “absolutely disgusting” the development was even being considered as “our village history and traditions are at stake of being destroyed” to boost the coffers of the estates.
One resident wrote: “The Egton Show is one of the greatest traditions in North Yorkshire.
“It brings the community together it brings visitors who then come again to the village on other days.
“It provides a much-needed link to farming.”
Another objector added: “To put the future of Egton Show at risk is absolutely devastating for the community and others that enjoy this event every year.”
But J Duthart of Jemsideas Ltd, on The Ropery in Whitby, thinks the housing would be a great benefit for many local first-time buyers and the proposal for industrial/office units was “a fantastic idea”.
“With the lack of opportunities available, existing and new businesses have little prospect to prosper or even commence.
“While some may think this is unsuitable for the area, Hutton-le-Hole has offered such opportunities for years which also attracts tourists.
“I cannot comment if the proposed site is the right one, but I sincerely hope in the very near future the National Park will consider a similar development for the Esk Valley.”
The authority’s planning officers have recommended the scheme be rejected due to its impact on Egton’s landscapes and character, road safety concerns and as it was “so far removed” from policies in the authority’s development plan.