RESIDENTS have spoken of their frustration after developers lodged plans to build houses on ancient farm fields on the edge of a market town despite already having had proposals at the site rejected.

A year after Hambleton District Council refused planning permission for 34 houses on agricultural land beside The Holmes park and Cod Beck river off Stockton Road in Thirsk, and just months after an appeal over the proposal was dismissed by a government inspector, a revised scheme to develop the site has been submitted to the council.

Agents for the developers said in rejecting the appeal the inspector had confirmed the site, which is believed to have been in agricultural use for at least 1,000 years, is “a suitable location for new housing”.

One reason the appeal was dismissed on was heritage grounds, with the Inspector considering the benefits of the scheme would not outweigh the less than substantial harm to the Thirsk and Sowerby Conservation Area.

In documents submitted with the latest application, agents said the the area to be developed had been reduced so all new buildings would be outside the conservation area, leading to the number of homes on the site being halved to 17 and the southern part of the site becoming “an extensive area of open space”, leading to Cod Beck.

An agent for the developers said the revised plans represented an opportunity for “a residential development which sits harmoniously within its surroundings”.

He said the proposed development would provide “a positive edge to the open space, activating the eastern edge of The Holmes and the area surrounding Cod Beck, making it a more accessible and safer green space for new and existing residents of Thirsk”.

The agent added: “The proposed development has responded to council and heritage comments, by ensuring there is no built form within the conservation area, and the development’s staggered edge condition reflects the conservation areas character areas of Old Thirsk and The Holmes.”

Within days of the latest plans being lodged residents highlighted their objections to the council.

One objector, Janet Bramhall, said there would be no schools, employment, shops or medical facilities and very little public transport in the area for people to access.

She said: “Proposals to build on this site have already been refused at least twice, the same reasons for turning down those applications still apply, even though this is for a smaller area and less properties.

“Although the new area is not within the existing flood zones it will still decrease the amount of open land which is able to absorb rain and prevent flooding.”

Another objector, Charles Torkington, said there was “no viable necessity for such development other than purely financial gain for the landowner and associated building companies.”