Controversial land sale approved which could see more than 60 affordable homes built in Scarborough

Scarborough Council is to proceed with the sale of two pieces of land in Eastfield to provide affordable housing despite the objections of local residents.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:22 pm

Last year, Scarborough Council’s cabinet approved an “in principle” deal for the sale of three sites subject to planning permission being granted to provide 60 new homes.

All the homes built on the sites following the sale to Beyond Housing would be classed as affordable.

The three sales include land at Scarborough Road in Seamer which could generate 30 affordable homes and land between 55 and 56 Westway in Eastfield which could add another 10.

The sale of land for affordable homes has been approved, but they will still require planning permission. (Photo: Getty Images, Paul Ellis)

The final site was on land adjacent to Lingholm Crescent and Musham Bank roundabout, also in Eastfield, which could provide a further 22 units.

Since December, more than 25 objections have been raised to the sale of the Westway and Lingholm Crescent plots of land.

Eastfield Town Council also objected.

Today, the council’s cabinet reaffirmed its decision to sell the parcels of land, subject to planning permission being granted.

The cabinet was told that the bulk of the objections were on issues that would be addressed during the planning process.

A report prepared for councillors stated: “Whilst concerns around the impact of the development are understandable, these ultimately need to be balanced against the need to develop a much needed affordable homes within the borough. In addition the majority of comments relate to matters that would be considered in detail as part of the planning process.”

It added: “The detail regarding the design of the building, the impact on neighbouring properties during the construction phase, the impact of the development on the wider community and the impact on the environment, visual amenity and loss play areas are all matters for the Planning Committee to consider when determining whether to grant permission for the development or not.”

Eastfield ward councillor and cabinet member Tony Randerson said he could not support the sale of two pieces of land in his ward but did not take part in the vote as he found himself “predetermined” against them.

He said he had been “inundated” with complaints from residents worried about the loss of green spaces and the impact it would have on the area which was already suffering from a lack of amenities, especially following news last week that a local dentist was to close.

Cllr Randerson said that despite his stance he remained in favour of Labour’s manifesto pledge “to build as many affordable and social homes” as possible.

In response, Cllr Liz Colling the cabinet member for Inclusive Growth said the land had been identified for housing since at least 2009 and it was “not a massive amount” of homes proposed, particularly on the Westway site.

The three pieces of land will be sold to Beyond Housing to take forward the schemes for £350,000 below the council’s open market valuation of the sites which came to £849,500.

If the sites were sold on the open market just seven affordable homes would be built in total, compared to the 62 under the deal with Beyond Housing.