A DECISION over plans to create a development purely of much-needed affordable housing has been postponed after councillors said they had been left perplexed by an experts’ assessment of how many pedestrians the development would generate.

Members of Hambleton District Council’s planning committee welcomed the scheme for 21 homes north off Lead Lane and Cockpit Hill in Brompton, near Northallerton, but said they had been left fearing it would create road safety issues.

Officers told the meeting the developer had “considered the viability of providing a crossing” and had come to the conclusion that the development of two and three-bedroom properties was likely to generate a maximum of two pedestrians and one bus user during peak hours, despite the homes being aimed at young families and the development being just yards from Brompton Primary School.

The developer had said the council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment identified an urgent need for smaller and more affordable homes with an emphasis being placed upon the delivery of family homes and Karbon Homes and York Housing Association had identified this same need within Brompton.

It stated: “It is also noted that homes are required to help young families onto the ‘Housing Ladder’ to ensure local labour is retained within the district through the availability of affordable home ownership products.

The developer said the homes would be available for affordable rent and rent to buy.

While the parish council maintained that a pedestrian crossing could be provided, a technical assessment by highways officers concluded it was unnecessary.

Planning officers said the highways department was adamant that it was not appropriate to put a crossing near the estate. They said in order to achieve a crossing that would be compliant with highways regulations there would have to be “a build out into the road, narrowing the relatively narrow road further”.

They said granting the application with a condition requiring a crossing could be “extremely problematic” because the land was not all in the control of the developer and the highway authority.

Ward member Councillor Paul Atkin warned the crossing from the Danes Crest estate on to Cockpit Hill blind junction regularly saw heavy agricultural vehicles and the highways officers’ conclusions had been based on an assumption that children would be ferried to and from school in cars.

Before members voted to defer a decision, fellow Brompton councillor Isobel Sanderson added: “To me it doesn’t stack up and I think we need a little more thought before we go ahead and give approval to this.”