3:26pm Friday 3rd January 2014
A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a housing estate which would include the demolition of a village farm shop has drawn more than 600 objections.
Gladman Developments Limited is proposing to build 113 homes on land off Station Road, between Great Ayton and the village station, with 50 per cent affordable housing on the site.
The application will go before Hambleton District Council planning committee on Thursday, January 8, and it is recommended for refusal.
The applicant has committed to planting trees and building a play park as well as retaining existing shrubs and bushes, but hundreds of objections have been raised by villagers who fear the estate would lead to an over-supply of houses and stretch local facilities.
The development would also back onto other houses including School Farm – which has a farm shop in a shed that falls in the application land and is proposed to be demolished - along with two other barns and a stable block.
Mark and Cath Phalp have farmed at School Farm for more than 23 years, but say they only learnt of the plans after receiving a phone call from the land agent, who said the field was being developed.
They said they are “totally devastated” by the application that could lead to the destruction of their livelihood and job losses.
Although School Farm would remain, they said there would be no room for parking farm equipment or personal vehicles, and the farm would not be able to continue without the shop and free range egg business.
They believe a proposed alternative site for the shop has poor storage and access which could result in a loss of custom.
Mrs Phalp said they had received a great deal of support from people in Great Ayton.
"It's very unsettling and worrying for us," she said.
"We are in limbo. We're just hanging on everyone else's decisions. We may have a farm or we may not. We cannot make plans for something that might or might not happen at the moment."
No one from Cheshire-based Gladman Developments was able to comment.
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