A rapidly expanding farm and commercial complex where more than 200 people are employed has won support for a scheme to build a road that involves blasting into an escarpment, despite concerns its construction could impact on residents for a year.
Metcalfe Farms, which has also applied to North Yorkshire County Council for consent to launch a concrete plant at its Washfold Farm site near Leyburn, is seeking permission from Richmondshire District Council to build the road across fields from the Redmire to Catterick Road.
The business said it would enable 60 heavy goods vehicles a day to reduce travel time, generate savings in fuel and reduce the number of large HGV vehicles having to go through Leyburn.
The district authority’s planning committee will next week hear the business has stated the development is needed to support a number of ventures at the site, including a haulage firm with a fleet of 100 trucks, and the further expansion of the farm and associated businesses.
In documents submitted to the council, Metcalfe Farms said substantial tree and shrub planting on either side of the proposed road and landscaping including three ponds and a wildlife zone would help overcome issues over building a concrete road through countryside.
The “visually prominent” road near protected habitat sites would be built up from the level of the field and also form a cutting through an escarpment.
Council officials have recommended blasting is restricted to seven hours a day, Monday to Friday, and said the construction phase could generate noise, dust and vibration disturbance for nearby properties.
Despite some residential properties surrounding the field and some residents raising concerns over the proposed concrete plant, no objections to the road have been lodged.
Bellerby Parish Council said initially feelings were “running high” in the village about the proposal amid fears it could aggravate issues which had led to flooding, but the parish council believed there would be positive benefits from the road and ponds alleviating the flow of water from the west of the village.
Some residents said they accepted the assurances of the business owner David Metcalfe that the proposed development should not increase the probability of another flood in the village, would not increase traffic through the village and there would be no increase in noise levels to Bellerby from the planned concrete works.
Recommending the scheme be granted, the report concludes that the proposal is justified in the rural location to support the needs of an existing and expanding farm and associated businesses.
It states: “The proposal will not significantly harm the character of the countryside, and any harm will be minimised through significant tree planting and landscaping.”