New plans for housing development to be heard this summer

The Northern Echo: PLANNING DECISION: New proposals to build homes at White House Farm in Stokesley are due to be considered within weeks PLANNING DECISION: New proposals to build homes at White House Farm in Stokesley are due to be considered within weeks

COUNCILLORS are due to consider new proposals for a housing development in a North Yorkshire town, after previous plans for the site were rejected due to lack of affordable homes.

The bid to build 183 homes on land at White House Farm, in Stokesley, has been formally submitted to Hambleton District Council by property developers Northumbrian Land.

The council says it expects the plans to be heard at a planning meeting either on June 26 or July 24.

It is the company’s second proposal for the site. Hambleton District Council refused outline planning permission for a housing and business development at the site in April last year as Northumbrian Land only proposed to build 15 to 20 per cent as affordable homes. The council wanted almost half the homes to be affordable to meet a local housing shortfall.

The company appealed against the decision, but at a planning inquiry, planning inspector Kath Ellison upheld the council’s decision.

She said Hambleton had based its estimation on the need for the Stokesley development to include 44 per cent affordable homes on recent local housing needs surveys, current housing waiting lists and homelessness records.

Now the new plans submitted involve setting aside a third of homes – 59 properties – as affordable.

In planning documents supporting the application, the company GVA, acting on behalf of Northumbrian Land, said it reached this figure after drawing up a viability assessment following consultation with the council.

It states the figure is “the maximum amount of affordable housing that the planning application can viably support."

It adds: “This is set against the high need for affordable housing in this area and the significant under-supply historically and within existing limited committed supplies.”

The site is already earmarked in the Local Development Framework as suitable for housing.

So far 18 objections have been submitted to the plans, voicing concerns over the risk of flooding and the impact on local infrastructure and resources.

One formal objection sent to the council by a resident stated he believed it was an “over ambitious development of a scale that is wholly inappropriate and unsuitable for its location”.

He added: “The development itself is not only way to large (30-40 houses would be much more sensible) but the make up does not address the housing needs of the town.

“At the very least they should be a third exec/family homes, a third affordable and a third first-time buyer, therefore positively contributing to the diversity and sustainability of the community.

“As it presently stands the proposal does not event meet the minimum needs of affordable housing alone and should therefore be turned down.”

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