Developers have unveiled a plan to build a place of worship alongside a drive-thru coffee shop.
The proposal would also see shops forming part of a market square built to bring the former CPM Pipeworks factory site in Colburn back to life, almost 12 years after outline plans for a mixed housing and retail development were passed.
While Taylor Wimpey has completed building 272 homes on the western part of the 15.7-hectare site, developers have previously submitted a range of schemes for the remaining area to Richmondshire District Council only to see them rejected by the authority or dismissed on appeal to government inspectors.
The council’s leader, Councillor Angie Dale last year said residents were being “sold down the river” after developers tried to get consent to build a Starbucks drive-thru cafe and car park on the site where it had originally been hoped 135 jobs would be created at a range of shops around a market square, featuring specialist markets.
Agents for developers CG Robinson and CJ Leonard said the latest proposal addressed a range of concerns, such as the entrance on Woodland Avenue to the development.
They said further details about the plan to build a place of worship, which follows the opening of St Cuthbert’s Church n 1957 to serve the residents of the then new Colburn estate, and the housing development would be submitted as part of a future application.
The developers have not revealed what type of place of worship is being planned, but the latest census figures for Colburn in 2011 found of the 4,860 residents, 66.3 per cent identified as being Christian, 1.3 per cent Buddhist and 1 per cent Hindu.
Agents for the developers said: “The application proposals will also provide enhanced local facilities for local residents and would generate a number of job opportunities for local people and the employment and economic benefits associated with the proposals should be afforded significant weight in the assessment of the proposals. ”
Like previous schemes, the latest application appears to have divided the community.
In an email to the authority, one resident wrote of her “deepest support” for the plan, describing the site as “an eyesore”, heralding the jobs and recreational uses as “great for the local area” and claimed the drive-thru coffee shop is “deeply needed”.
Nevertheless, other residents have insisted there are already plenty of places to buy coffee in the area and the outlet would have a massive negative impact on the quality of life for surrounding residents.
One objector wrote: “It’s a terrible idea to build something that is not required in the middle of a residential estate.”