MORE than 50 objectors have turned out to support the refusal of plans to build 113 homes on the outskirts of a village – which would also have involved the demolition of a popular farm shop.
Hambleton District Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected an application to build the estate at land off Station Road, Great Ayton, and to demolish four outbuildings that are part of School Farm.
At the meeting, planning officer Jill Low said the council had received 630 objections from villagers and only one letter in support.
She said: “Local residents have raised a lot of concerns regarding this proposal, relating to local infrastructure, schools, traffic and the already inadequate road system close to the site, which is too narrow for pedestrians.
“And they are concerned about the loss of School Farm shop, which people see as a community asset for the village.”
John Fletcher from Great Ayton Parish Council said: “As a parish we have witnessed on more than one occasion serious flooding in Station Road, and much more than the prediction of the experts.
“The road is not a safe passage for vehicles and pedestrians. The sewage and drainage systems in Great Ayton can’t cope already and debris from drains is often litters the riverbank.
“And the applicant’s involvement with the community has been minimal – not even the tenants of School Farm were told about the development until surveyors arrived.”
Emma Walker, the agent speaking on behalf of applicant Gladman Developments, said the proposed estate is on the edge of Great Ayton and is a “logical addition to the settlement.”
She added: “After consultation with Natural England we are happy the development would not have a significant impact on the national park, and it is well located to services in Great Ayton within 10 minutes’ walking distance.
“The land owner has made an offer to the tenants of School Farm to give an alternative to the main farm shop.”
Ward member Coun Ron Kirk said the applicants had failed to demonstrate there was a local demand for housing, despite the provision of 50 per cent affordable homes.
He said: “Employment is minimal in the village and public transport is not convenient enough for people to get to work so there would be a great deal of extra traffic in an already congested village.”
Tenants of School Farm Mark and Cath Phalp said it was a “common sense outcome.”