Flooding concerns raised over Bellerby housing plan

The site of the proposed housing.

Local residents have raised concerns that plans for five new houses on a field on the edge of Bellerby could increase the risk of flooding.

Richmondshire District Council has received 27 objections to a proposal to build the detached homes on land off Moor Road on the edge of the village.

One two-bedroom, two three-bedroom, and one four-bedroom houses are proposed, as well as a three-bedroom bungalow.

Documents submitted with the plans state that the applicant, Mr Rycroft, would live in one of the properties, while family members would live in two others.

The other two would be sold.

The documents state: “The design and appearance of the dwellings will be traditional and sensitive to the character and appearance of the village.

“The applicant is keen to retain the traditional stone built appearance, especially to reflect the neighbouring dwellings, and has therefore opted for the dwellings along Moor Road to be constructed of traditional materials.

“The two dwellings that sit further in the site have been designed to reflect a rural barn vernacular with materials reminiscent in agricultural buildings.”

Asking the district council to support the plans, the document concludes: “This planning statement and the supporting application documents are able to demonstrate that the proposals are demonstrably acceptable in terms of character, biodiversity, flood risk, highways, amenity and all other technical matters.”

Bellerby was one of several areas of the Dales hit by flash flooding in July last year, with homes also suffering flooding in previous years.

A report submitted with the plans states that various measures could be implemented within the scheme to prevent flooding.

The report concludes that the proposed development is not expected to increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.

However, several of the residents have raised concerns that development could exacerbate the risk.

One member of the public said: “I’m worried that the increased water run-off caused by the proposed houses, access roads and pavements, parking for 19 cars, effluent systems and water storage could mean that the relatively minor flooding to my home that I have experienced become a more substantial flood risk.

“Given that Moor Lane was a major channel for flood water during 2019, I fear that opening two access routes onto the site will provide a clear channel for water to flow directly into the site behind my house and would significantly increase the risk of my home flooding.

“Unlike previous floods in the village, the water would be contaminated with effluent from the development.”

Residents have also raised concerns that a ‘package treatment plant’ rather than the new homes being connected to the main sewage system.

In joint submission, residents of nearby Heron Tree Close state: “A major concern expressed by those village residents who have experienced flooding of their properties, relates to the proposed reliance on a ‘package treatment plant’ as opposed to connection to the mains sewerage system.

“A typical comment has been that whilst flooding with clean water from the village beck was terrible, it would have been so much worse had the water also been polluted with human waste.

“Equally there is concern that the proposed ‘package treatment plant’ will deposit waste water into the village beck. Whilst this will have been more effectively treated than would be the case with systems such as septic tank, it will nevertheless introduce a measure of pollution which does not currently exist.”

One person has written to support the application, while another’s comments have been judged to be ‘neutral’ by council officers.

To view the plans click here.