PLANS for a housing estate on a former chicken farm have come under fire after the number of affordable homes was halved and residents protested that the access road is totally unsuitable.

The site at Wilbert Farm in Aiskew, Bedale, is being developed by Barratt Homes, who have applied for detailed planning permission for 120 houses on the site at Sandhill Lane.

There is concern the development will undermine huge improvements in easing traffic problems in Leeming Bar, Aiskew and Bedale that have been brought about by the new £34m bypass.

Access will be off the main A684 road through the villages. But residents say a new access road should be created possibly from the new service road for the A1M.

One protested: "This road is not suitable for the amount of increased traffic that the new estate would attract. The mini roundabout where Sandhill Lane meets the A684 is not sufficient to cope with the increase in traffic. A lot of money has been spent on building a relief road to ease traffic congestion in Leeming Bar, Aiskew and Bedale.

"Traffic has been reduced significantly this is just going to increase it back to the old level."

Others are concerned about changes in the plans to increase the number of houses and reduce affordable homes. They said: "Where will this mission creep stop.

"Sandhill Lane is a no through minor road, which often has cars parked outside properties. The doctors in Bedale are stretched to breaking point, how will they cope with additional patients from this new build? Dentists and schools will also be impacted. Foul and fresh water drainage are constantly suffering with ongoing issues with the sewerage system.”

Outline permission has already been given for 105 houses with 28 per cent affordable homes. A planning statement submitted on behalf of Barratt to Hambleton District Council says they are now applying for 120 houses and because of higher costs it is only viable to have 12.5 per cent affordable housing.

They add: "In reality the abnormal costs associated with the site are much higher than previously presented to the council. As a result of this new assessment, the application now proposes to deliver 12.5 per cent affordable housing contribution. This is intended to deliver four one bedroom properties and eleven two bedroom properties."

The developers say a significant amount of asbestos has been found on the site in and around former poultry sheds which needs removing.