Whitby housing crisis: Scarborough Council backs motion to establish primary residency scheme in the town

The future of housing in Whitby is looking brighter after Scarborough Council this week unanimously backed a motion to establish a primary residency scheme on new developments in the town.

By Duncan Atkins
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 3:00 pm

The move delighted Whitby borough councillor Phil Trumper, who's been pushing for the scheme to give local families a better chance of buying local homes.

The Whitby Gazette has been flagging up numerous issues raised by frustrated residents over the past few weeks, including:

* Whitby people being outbid on properties by second home owners who won't live there permanently

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A primary residency scheme could be on the way for Whitby residents at last.

* young people of the town having no choice but to move away from their families, to live and work elsewhere

* loss of the community spirit Whitby is renowned for

But this week's backing from the borough council has now set the ball rolling.

"This is the first step to ensuring that local people have a greater opportunity of getting on the housing ladder," Cllr Trumper said.

"The future of housing in Whitby is looking brighter."

Cllr Trumper said the planning team will look the best way they can implement such a scheme and will feedback to the planning committee in March.

"It's a massive step forward getting it on there and discussing it, really.

"It's great that we got it on there and voted on it.

"We want to create a sustainable town for the future of Whitby.

"This is a game changer - it means the community doesn't die."

Cllr Trumper said if people are unable to buy homes here, they move away and take jobs elsewhere.

"It has a knock-on effect, from the hospitality industry, to teachers, firefighters and ambulance drivers, and that's why action needs to be taken, so that in 10 years' time, we still have the community and the town here.

"People might want to move away and live somewhere else and that's their choice, but they're having that choice taken away from them as people are turning them into holiday lets.

"In a sense, it's like a theme park.

"Whitby has always been a working town.

"I'm really happy that the primary residency scheme has got the support."

The housing crisis in Whitby has prompted people to write to us to voice their opinions.

Peter Croft, of Upgang Lane in Whitby, believed that, based on the current property market boom, there were more people wanting a second home in the town than there is space to build new homes.

Heather Relf, of Whitby's Esk Terrace, hoped the scheme could be implemented as soon as possible to help combat a number of issues, flagging up the additional strain put on council services, for example refuse collection and street cleaning, when holiday homes put nothing in the coffers.