A SCHEME to build a housing estate in one of North Yorkshire’s most deprived areas looks set to be approved, despite concerns it could harm the future of a key community asset.

Colburn Town Council has urged Richmondshire planners to reject developer Home Group’s Colburndale estate proposal, saying it would effectively smother a social venue which has been at the community’s heart since the 1970s.

The developers are seeking planning consent over the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development off Catterick Road following the granting of outline planning permission in 2015.

The scheme features 201 homes, 174 of which would be two and three bedrooms, along with 60 affordable one, two and three-bedroom homes across the development site. Home Group say their vision for Colburndale is “a bespoke design solution with high quality architecture that demonstrates a contextual understanding of the local area”.

But Richmondshire councillors will hear the application for the 5.7-hectare eastern side of the former Arc factory site lacks an appreciation of the Hanson Sports and Social Club, “an important social centre for Colburn”.

A town council spokeswoman said the club, which was recently registered as a community asset, Is the only meeting place available to some 500-plus new homes alongside Colburn, which has benefitted from the club for over 40 years.

She said: “The future viability of the club is dependent on its ability to increase its size for economic development and enticing customers into a safe family space.

“Colburn Town Council feels that in planning terms there should be recognition of the increased number of houses, the lack of community gain in recreational terms and ask that the land on which the club stands be gifted over to the trustees in recognition of the impact of the increased number of properties.”

Following concerns expressed by the town council, changes have been made to the proposal to provide the social club with extra land to the north, south-east and south.

Nevertheless, the town council believes the amount of additional land being provided is insufficient, as well as having concerns about its potential benefit to the community and usability.

However, an officers’ report to the planning committee concludes the scheme should be approved. The report states: “The details now put forward provide for buildings of an appropriate scale and layout with designs and landscaping that generally reflects the expectations of the outline planning permission and are appropriate to the site’s surroundings.”