Controversial plan could see more than 60 homes built near Whitby Abbey
More than 60 new homes are set to be build on land near Whitby Abbey despite objections from local residents and the town council.
Wharfedale Homes Limited wants to put 62 homes in a field off Green Lane not far from the iconic structure which looms over the town.
Scarborough Council’s planning committee is set to meet next week to vote on the application with its planning officers recommending that it be approved.
Across two separate consultations 52 letters of objection were sent to the borough council by residents regarding fears about overdevelopment of the site, traffic issues and the impact on the nearby homes that would be overlooked.
The two consultations were required after Wharfedale changed its original plan, which was to build 58 houses and a block of 12 flats.
The has now been changed to 57 houses and five one-bedroom flats.
A total of 19 of the properties would be classed as affordable.
Whitby Town Council has also objected, twice, to the plans, due to “concerns over highways and access, community safety and impact on the character of the local area”.
In recommending approval, borough council planning officers say that the site was allocated for housing in the authority’s Local Plan.
Officers also say that views of the Abbey will not be diminished for the majority.
They add: “There is no doubt that the development will have a transformative impact on the immediate locality in a visual sense; land that was once open farmland will be occupied by dwellings, and glimpsed views of the Abbey from the footpath running to the south of the site will be restricted to some extent.
“Whilst this is the case, in middle distance and long range views the development will be seen within the existing context of the built part of Whitby; there is existing development immediately west of the application site.
“In the view of officers, except views from the public right of way running to the south of the site, the development will be seen from all main vantage points in the context of existing development and will not read as being unduly conspicuous.
“As such, your officers would suggest that the proposal will not have a detrimental impact on the landscape setting or character of the heritage assets on the headland including the Abbey, [St Mary’s] Church and [the] Conservation Area.”
The planning committee will vote on the plans on Thursday, next week.