A HOUSEBUILDING giant has pledged to continue battling to build a housing estate which has been likened to "a boil on the backside".

Managers at Persimmon Homes, which is set to return £1.9bn to investors over nine years, expressed frustration after their controversial 47-home development in Sowerby was rejected by Hambleton District Council.

Simon Usher, director in charge at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said its proposal to develop the derelict Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs buffer depot site, at Melbourne Place, Sowerby, would provide much-needed affordable homes on a brownfield site in a residential area.

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He said: "Persimmon Homes has made every effort to address any concerns which have been raised during the planning process and an appeal against refusal is likely."

However, the decision notice has not yet been received.

"Nevertheless, the company will continue to work with local stakeholders to explore every possible means of achieving a mutually acceptable outcome."

At a meeting of the council planning committee, planning officers said the firm had reduced the number of terraced, semi-detached and detached homes on the 1.2-hectare site from 51 to 47, after being criticised for "corporate greed" by planning committee members in October.

Persimmon also increased the number of car parking spaces at the site from 64 to 83 in an attempt to appease members, and reduced the number of three-storey properties in the plan.

Residents' spokesman John McIntosh, of nearby Admirals Court, described the firm, which bought more than 11,000 plots last year, as "arrogant" for making minimalistic changes to its original plan.

Councillors said they had grave concerns over the proposed access to the site.

Thirsk councillor Derek Adamson added: "Prince Charles once described a development as a carbuncle, but this is more like a boil on the backside."