Scarborough Council ordered to pay £17,000 after Inspector approves 62 new homes in Whitby on appeal

Scarborough Council will have to pay around £17,000 in costs after a Government Inspector found in favour of a developer's plans for 62 homes in Whitby.

By Alexandra Wood
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 4:45 pm
The site is to the right off Green Lane
The site is to the right off Green Lane

Wharfedale Homes has now been granted permission for the site off Green Lane, after it was refused by Scarborough councillors last year, despite being recommended for approval by planning officers.

Objectors complained about "congestion and chaos" on Green Lane which takes traffic to Whitby Abbey and four caravan sites, saying a new access would make things worse.

The site, which is allocated in the Local Plan, includes a range of homes from family properties to starter homes and bungalows. There are also 19 affordable properties for local residents, of which 13 would be for rent and six as "discount-for-sale".

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The site's boundaries are shown in red

The inspector, identified only as ML Milliken, said the application was refused on the grounds that it didn't provide for a "safe and suitable" access for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, although the council's own highways department had not objected.

He said while councillors did not have to follow officers' recommendations, they could not rely on anecdotal evidence.

Mr Milliken said: "The council asserted that the proposal would not make provision for a suitable and safe access, however as set out in my decision, the council did not provide objective analysis as to why it considered that to be the case to support its position, or compelling evidence to counter the applicant’s evidence.

"In my judgement the council has relied upon supposition and has failed to adequately justify its position with technical data or evidence to demonstrate that the proposal would have an unacceptable effect on highway safety."

Artist's impression of one of the new homes

This he said amounted to "unreasonable behaviour" causing "unnecessary and wasted" expense on the part of the developer.

He had considered issues raised by the town council including the impact on local character, increased pressure on services " together with the potential for the houses to be bought as second homes or as holiday lets and a lack of jobs for future homeowners". However he found "none have been substantiated in evidence".

Managing Director of Knaresborough-based Wharfedale Homes John Edwards said: “It’s great news that we can now deliver a good mix of high-quality homes in Whitby.

"At Wharfedale Homes we take great pride in the bespoke nature of the homes we build, and this site will be no exception.

“It’s unfortunate that this allocated site was not approved locally, which would have saved a 12-month delay and the significant costs that will have to be paid from public funds following the Inspector's ruling.

“This development will be a great place to live and is in a truly sustainable location, within walking distance to the town centre, harbour and everything Whitby has to offer.”

As part of the masterplan there will also be landscaped open space, along with contributions to children’s play areas, parks and gardens, public rights of way and health provision.

It’s expected that work will start later this year with the first homes going on the market early next year.

Scarborough Borough Council is thought to be liable for around £17,000 to cover the housebuilder’s costs.