Plan for 60 homes near Whitby Abbey deferred after fears over levels of traffic

Councillors have put off making a decision about whether more than 60 new homes can be built on land near Whitby Abbey due to concerns about traffic and highway issues.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:56 pm
The field off Green Lane earmarked for a housing development. 
picture: Google
The field off Green Lane earmarked for a housing development. picture: Google

Scarborough Council’s planning committee has today (Thurs) deferred deciding on Wharfedale Homes Limited’s request 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 had been told by its planning officers that approval could be granted but members were concerned about the access to the site and the impact the increase in vehicle movements would have.

This was despite the Highways Authority not objecting to the scheme.

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The site earmarked for development.

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.

That was then changed to 57 houses and five one-bedroom flats.

A total of 19 of the properties would be classed as affordable.

At today’s meeting, one of the objectors, Joyce Powell, told councillors that the access via Green Lane could not cope with the increase in traffic the development would bring.

She said: “There is hardly a day goes by without vehicles experiencing a near miss or congestion problems.

“I myself have had my car almost written off when trying to access Green Lane.

“The problems are further compounded in the tourist season when traffic increases tenfold as visitors to the numerous caravan and camping sites begin to arrive.”

The councillors were told that while North Yorkshire County Council Highways had raised some concerns when consulted it had not objected to the proposal.

Whitby ward councillor Phil Trumper said he could not support the application due to concerns about highways issues and the lack of a bus route to service the area.

Planning officer Daniel Metcalfe said that as Highways had not requested a bus route the borough council could not ask for funds towards one from the applicant.

Cllr Subash Sharma said he did not think that the Highways Authority had done its “diligence” on the site and pointed to a condition that had been requested by the authority that was deemed to not be legal by borough council planning officers.

He said: “I really cast doubt upon the diligence with which they have approached this development.”

Another Whitby councillor, Stewart Campbell, also said he had “serious concerns” about the highways issues and the access to the site.

Councillors voted to defer the scheme to get more information from the Highway Authority about why it had not objected and the conditions it wanted imposed.

The councillors will also take a site visit to see the access to the development for themselves.

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