Consultation to begin on land sales for new Scarborough borough homes

Scarborough councillors have given their support to the sale of council-owned land in order to provide hundreds of new homes across the borough.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:38 pm

Scarborough Council’s cabinet today approved the start of a consultation into the potential sale of 12 parcels of land it owns in order to meet the goals of its Better Homes project.

Last year, the cabinet gave the green light to the scheme which will work with providers of social housing and private developers to address an affordable homes shortage due to the average house price in the borough being nine times the local average wage.

As nine of the pieces of land under consideration are classed as public open spaces a public consultation into their potential sale must take place.

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The sale of land could see 12 areas designated for homes to be built on. (Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas)

The consultation will run for longer than the statutory two weeks due to the pandemic.

The 12 site includes a parcel of land that encompasses two holes of Whitby Golf Club that could provide up to 60 homes.

The golf club site is adjacent to a separate parcel of land, also part of the course, that is currently going through the Local Plan process and could also one day have houses on it.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition against the second piece of the course in Sandsend Road being included in the next Local Plan. The site is not one of those classed as a public open space.

The consultation will run for longer than the statutory two weeks due to the pandemic.

Two large areas at Musham Bank in Eastfield are also in the scheme and are earmarked for up to 600 homes.

The sites classed as public open spaces, which will go out to consultation, include two pieces of land at Rievaulx Road and one in California Road in Whitby. Land at Prince of Wales Terrace, Sandybed Lane and Sandybed Crescent in Scarborough and open spaces in Clarence Drive, Filey and Moor Lane, Newby are also included.

Land at West End View in Cayton has also been earmarked for housing and was not originally thought to be a public open space as it is behind a locked gate.

However, council director Richard Bradley told the cabinet that following talks with ward councillors it had been decided to consult on the site as there was “uncertainty” as to its status.

The council sees the Better Homes project as critical to addressing the borough’s shortage of quality housing for local people, which is also affordable.

Approximately 37 per cent of jobs in the borough are paid below the Real Living Wage and around 41 per cent of employed clients of the local Citizens’ Advice claim in-work benefits.

This has resulted in 2,000 households on the waiting list for social rented housing.

Demand for affordable homes is therefore high and the council estimates that around 220 are needed per year. With the borough’s ageing population, there is also a need for 4,000 specialist and adaptable homes.

Cllr Carl Maw, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Housing, told the meeting that it was important that the project has support.

He said: “We all know this project is not a vanity project.

“This is about producing better homes, affordable homes, good quality homes for the people of the borough, so it needs to be done correctly, it needs to be right first time and it needs to be done with as much consensus and agreement as possible.”

The Better Homes project is linked to the council’s economic development plans for the borough, including stimulating recovery following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cabinet gave approval for the consultation process to begin.