Developers have spoken of their optimism that a plan to build a housing development in Leyburn will eventually be approved, despite concerns over the sustainability of the site in respect of walking and cycling.
Yorvik Homes said after submitting further revised plans to build 127 homes on the edge of Leyburn off Moor Road it remains in negotiations with North Yorkshire County Council’s highways officers to address any remaining issues over the scheme.
The firm’s managing director Matthew Gath was speaking after campaigners lodged further objections to the proposal which has divided opinion in the community.
The hill-top site has been identified as appropriate for development in Richmondshire District Council’s Local Plan, despite the nearby roads and gradients making creating an acceptable path between Leyburn town centre and the estate difficult.
The most significant change to the proposal is a new entrance opposite Shawl Quarry Lane, the road which leads to Leyburn’s recycling centre.
In their latest response to the scheme, highways officers said Yorvik Homes had still not provided sufficient information for them to withdraw their recommendation to refuse the scheme, guidance which is usually given great weight by planners.
Highways officers said even if the information was provided the sustainability of the site for walkers and cyclists would remain an issue as it could not be “to a standard that would satisfy current best practice guidance”.
However, Mr Gath said he believed the highways position on the proposal was now “neutral” and the hilly nature of the surrounding area needed to be borne in mind.
He said: “We have and are working with the highways authority to address any concerns they have, most of which we can overcome.
“We have a list of 60 or 70 people who want housing on here, most of them local, younger people who are living with parents. As well as social affordable housing we are offering 26 homes discounted from market value for sale.
“All sites have problems to overcome, but this one has more than many.
“Wherever you go to allocate more land for development you are always going to come across technical issues and people who don’t want development because they have their house and don’t want change.
“We are building for the next generation.”
While some residents believe the estate would bring a range of benefits to the town, such improved public facilities, others have said they still believe it could prove disastrous for residents.
One of the objectors, resident Derek Riley, has highlighted how the Government’s planning policy puts sustainability at the forefront of criteria to be considered for all new developments.
He said: “Apart from the obvious destruction of greenfield land, the increased carbon footprint and the inevitably large number of private car journeys, the proposed development has raised serious questions regarding flooding and the ability of the local foul water system to accommodate a major increase in throughput.
“Since the original application was made in 2019 the applicant has had ample opportunity to address many of the points raised by local government, government agencies and local residents and the latest revised submission focusses simply on access to the site from Moor Road. “