Virtual public meeting planned over plans for Leyburn housing estate

An extraordinary public meeting has been called over a planned housing estate on farmland in Leyburn.

Leyburn Town Council is inviting residents and traders to voice their views at a virtual meeting on Thursday over Yorvik Homes’ proposal to build 103 two, three and four-bedroom houses and 24 bungalows at Hill Top Farm, Moor Road.

The authority said the meeting would help shape its response to Richmondshire District Council over the scheme, following residents voicing frustration over the consultation period for the development taking place during lockdown.

A town council spokesman said it had requested a representative from Yorvik Homes attends the meeting, but the developer had not confirmed it would be available to answer questions.

In papers lodged with the planning application, Yorvik Homes said Yorkshire Water had confirmed there are no surface water sewers available for
the surface water to drain to and as the site conditions are “very variable” and unsuitable for soakaways diverting surface water from the development to Whipperdale Beck was the best way to manage it, alongside storage tanks.

In addition, a flood risk assessment commissioned by the firm states the site is entirely within what the Environment Agency considered to be the lowest risk area for flooding.

The study concludes the development will not add any flows to the historical culvert system in Leyburn town centre or affect local flooding to the east of the site.

The proposals, lodged just eight months after Leyburn and the surrounding area were inundated and even the town’s fire station was flooded following a torrential downpour, have already generated a significant amount of objections, as residents claimed building on the greenfield site would exacerbate drainage issues.

In an objection submitted to the district council, Derek Riley said “the increased risk of flooding” had been a major worry when plans for the estate were revealed in 2018, but Leyburn has since “suffered its worst flooding in recent memory”.

He said one of the greatest sources of floodwater was drainage from the top of the proposed development site.

Resident Robin Turton said Leyburn had been affected by flooding numerous times and there had also been numerous near miss-type flood events.

While documents submitted by Yorvik Homes state the firm plans to divert surface water to Whipperdale Beck in the neighbouring parish of Bellerby, Mr Turton said the beck regularly floods the key A6108 route at times of heavy rain, and with the added run-off from a development of 127 houses would add to this issue.

He said: “The idea of sending water to a neighbouring parish and to a water course that isn’t fit for purpose is ill thought through. I doubt that anyone with local knowledge has been consulted during this planning exercise.”

To view the meeting agenda click here. [kofi]