Controversial plans for 'wrong and incompatible' holiday huts in Filey set to be decided by Scarborough Council

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Contentious plans for new holiday huts on Filey’s coast, which have garnered more than 70 objections from members of the public, are set to be decided by Scarborough Council.

The plans, submitted to Scarborough Council’s Planning and Development Committee, propose placing five holiday huts on Filey’s coast, on the southeastern edge of The Bay holiday village, off Britannia Drive.

A report prepared for members of the committee recommends that the application is refused for various reasons including location, characteristics of the area, the style of the huts, and loss of privacy for the occupiers of the existing holiday homes.

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The application, submitted by Michael Diana, on behalf of Essential Vivendi Ltd, a real estate business based in Hemel Hempstead, will be discussed at the committee’s meeting on Thursday August 4.

An artist's impression of what the new holiday huts could look like.An artist's impression of what the new holiday huts could look like.
An artist's impression of what the new holiday huts could look like.

The company’s website states there are “23 property types at The Bay Filey, all of which have been built by the Essential Group”.

During the consultation period, which ended in October last year, 70 objections were received from members of the public, many of whom are guests and visitors to The Bay, although some also came from residents.

Many of the objections from the public revolve around themes also identified by the council, such as the impact on wildlife and the visual environment, limited parking, potential pollution, privacy, and overcrowding.

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One objection said: “The Bay has become overcrowded with smaller properties with insufficient parking leading to real health and safety concerns as there are no footpaths.”

Another adds: “They will severely limit the communal outdoor space enjoyed by all guests (families in particular), as I believe the huts will be within six metres of the patios to the rear of the detached houses.”

A third objection says that “a line has to be drawn” and suggests that the development “is aesthetically wrong and incompatible with maintaining the space and amenity of the cliff top which is a precious commodity in coastal resorts such as ours.”

No response was received from Filey Town Council during the consultation and while the Highway Authority had no objections, Natural England said it was not able to “fully assess the potential impacts of this proposal” on nature conservation sites.

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Originally, the council’s ecologist also recommended that the proposal “be rejected on the grounds of unacceptable ecological impacts on the SINC (site of importance for nature conservation)” and “the potential for increased negative impact upon the wildlife site.”

But following revised proposals, the ecologist said they were satisfied “that earlier consultation comments have been addressed”.

The authority’s report says that the original proposal “was for nine units” but the applicants reduced the number of units to five during the application process, “apparently, in response to the initial comments of the council's ecologist".

According to council documents, the applicant’s description of the holiday lets as “shepherd's huts” has led to some confusion.

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The report states: “Shepherd's huts are generally mobile units which fall within the legal definition of a caravan and proposals for their siting are technically for the change of use of land to a caravan site rather than for the erection of buildings.

“These units are actually permanent buildings built on concrete foundations and are immovable; the wheels are for decorative purposes and do not provide any means of support.”

The council’s planning committee has been recommended to reject the application at its meeting on Thursday August 4.