145 new homes in Brough St Giles would be ‘gross overdevelopment’

An artist's impression of the development.

A decision over whether to approve a new housing estate in Brough St Giles has been postponed amid claims it would not provide its residents with the right standard of life.

Richmondshire councillors said the proposal to build 145 homes on just over four hectares of farm fields at the eastern edge of Catterick Garrison in Brough with St Giles was a gross overdevelopment of the site.

The majority of councillors expressed concerns over the number of homes on the site despite their officers recommending the scheme be approved and saying the scheme was considered to meet expectations for housing growth in the area.

Officers highlighted the scheme was on a site where a 107-estate had been approved three years ago, establishing the principle of building on the land, and that it would provide an acceptable mix of housing types, sizes and tenures.

Developers have proposed the estate should include 43 affordable houses, nine of which would be for “affordable rent” and 34 for “discount for market sale”.

Officers also told councillors that the scheme met the authority’s Development Plan.

Councillor Pat Middlemiss said the proposed estate would be over-developed, poorly designed and the location of the play park would raise concerns for children’s safety.

She said: “More and more we are hearing tales of what happens to children when they are isolated. There’s far too many houses. Healthy living is having open spaces and lots of places to run about. That’s what kids deserve. I think we should give them a better life than what we’ve had.”

The meeting heard several members call for the developers to revise their proposals to make them “more sympathetic” to the area and improve its environmental credentials.

Councillor Angie Dale said the previously approved plan for the site which featured 107 houses had been over-developed, but the proposal for 149 homes did not respect the area or the local residents.

While most members called for more open space on the estate, the committee’s chairman, Councillor John Amsden warned that a cut in the total number of homes on the estate would lead to the number of affordable homes there being cut.

He said: “At the present time affordable housing for looking people who can’t afford to buy a big house with gardens. That’s our biggest problem at the moment. Once you start cutting houses out the costs go up considerably.”

The authority’s lead planning officer said he carry out the committee’s wish to ask the developers to reconsider their proposal, but the council could be facing an appeal by the developers to the government for non-determination of the application.

Ahead of councillors voting to postpone making a decision, he said: “If we have an appeal I’ll be very very concerned that we wouldn’t be successful.”