CONTROVERSIAL plans to build houses between Saltburn and Marske have been approved despite a previous application being dismissed on appeal.

Proposals to redevelop Saltburn Riding School for housing have previously been rejected and dismissed on appeal because the site is located in a “strategic gap” between Saltburn and Marske.

But on Thursday, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Regulatory Committee approved new plans for a down-sized development after it was noted that the inspector who rejected the previous appeal would have allowed development of the northern portion of the site. There has been a long history of proposals to build houses at the site.

On May 10, councillors rejected an application to build 75 houses on a 2.9 hectare site at Saltburn Riding School and livery yard despite them being recommended for approval by council officers.

Committee members decided the plans would represent an unacceptable creep towards development on the strategic gap that separates Saltburn and Marske. The applicant appealed the council’s decision and also submitted a slightly amended application for the Marske Road site, reducing the number of houses to 70.

On October 18, members of the Regulatory Committee stood by their decision to ignore planning officers after the appeal was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate. In November, the Planning Inspectorate rejected the appeal against the council’s original decision and warned that any future development of the site would face similar concerns . The applicant subsequently withdrew the application for 70 houses at the site.

But on Thursday, committee members approved new plans to build up to 30 homes on a smaller portion of the site after it was noted that the Planning Inspectorate would have found it acceptable.

Chris Hill, representing the family of that owns and runs the former Saltburn Riding School said: “We have worked hard to build our family business. We’re proud that we’ve managed to maintain a friendly family-run facility.”

He added: “However in recent times we have faced financial difficulties and in 2017 took the decision to close the riding school permanently.”

Cllr Philip Thomson, leader of Redcar and Cleveland’s Conservative group, said: “We have heard the rationale for why this application has come forward which is for purely commercial reasons.”