DEVELOPERS of a prime location in Richmond have been sent back to the drawing board after planning committee members described the designs as unacceptable.

Although members of Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee, which met on Tuesday, said there were elements of the proposed redevelopment of the site currently occupied by former care home Richmond House in Reeth Road that were good, too much was “bland and inappropriate.”

Coun Jill McMullon said the design looked as though a four-year-old had created it while playing with lego.

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Councillors voted to defer the decision until after all interested parties could meet to discuss the problems of the plans, for 12 homes and eight apartments, in an informal setting with a site visit.

Ward member Coun Stuart Parsons said the buildings currently occupying the site were not attractive but the roof lines were broken up and quite interesting, but what was being proposed in its place was a “crude and nasty terrace.”

He said: “It has nothing to do with the buildings around it and looks like we have plonked some bland, boring boxes on the site.”

Coun Linda Curran added: “This is a unique site but what is proposed is second rate and they must do better.

“The opportunity the developer has with site will not come up again in Richmondshire because the site is so special.”

Richard Lawson, owner of nearby Temple Lodge that lies within Registered Historic Park Temple Grounds, urged planners to allow more time to consider the proposal.

Mr Lawson said: “Richmond proclaims itself to be the gateway to Swaledale. Let us have a grand front door, and let us take time this planning application to achieve this.”

Following the meeting, Andrew Garrens from Mulberry Homes, said: “We are in the process of organising an informal site visit for all interested parties in the next few weeks, which will allow us to discuss our plans in more detail.

“We are more than happy to listen to representations from those who have views on the scheme and our aim is to be as flexible as possible in relation to the design.

“We are very conscious this development is close to a conservation area and have worked hard, and will continue to work hard, to ensure the design is sympathetic to the surrounding area.

“We believe that by transforming a vacant building and creating high specification luxury homes for sale will add further value to the area.”