PLANS to built 47 houses on a former industrial site were deferred by Hambleton councillors who wanted more information.

It was the second time that developers McCarthy and Stone had put forward proposals to redevelop the land in the centre of Bedale, formerly occupied by Clapham's marquee makers and hirers.

The revised application outlined plans for 12 two-bedroom and 35 single bedroom units of sheltered accommodation for older people who wish to retain their independence while having the support of an on-site warden.

Despite planning officer Tim Wood's recommendations to approve the application, members of Hambleton District Council's development control committee voted to postpone their decision.

Councillors said they wanted more information about the site and the plans before making any decision.

Six of the 19 recommendations made by the district council related to the drainage and contamination of the site, which includes a former gas works.

Investigations will have to be carried out on the site to establish the nature and extent of any contamination and the developers' costs to remove any contaminated material will be more than £45,000. McCarthy and Stone's initial scheme, which included 50 houses on the site, was rejected last year over fears that it would affect the Bedale Conservation Area.

The company has since made various amendments to the plans.

It proposes to reclaim stone from a row of existing cottages that will be demolished in the development process and reuse it in the new housing at a cost of more than £20,000.

Hambleton planning officer Tim Wood said there was still some negotiating to be done. He said: "The design of the building has been improved to closely follow the characteristics of the area.

"The removal of fussy details in the plan and use of materials that are more sympathetic to the area, including the reuse of the stone arising from the demolition of the cottages, is to be applauded."

Bedale Chamber of Trade had supported the development, saying that it can only improve conditions in the derelict area, bring increased trade to shops and businesses and meet the needs of the older people.