A COUNCIL leader has highlighted the authority’s record in ensuring community benefits from a large-scale housing development.

Councillor Mark Robson said after waiting for several years to start work on Sowerby Sports Village, Hambleton District Council was able to bring forward the second phase of the development for completion earlier than originally planned.

He said the authority was making “fantastic progress” towards realising its ambition, with the first part of the £5m project due to be completed by the end of March, meaning the pitch-laying phase could be started immediately afterwards. Cllr Robson said: “This makes total sense. Why move the machinery off the site for the sake of bringing this forward?”

The sports village, plans for which were unveiled five years ago as a key community element of the 925-home Sowerby Gateway housing development scheme, will feature pavilions, numerous pitches, allotments, four car parks with 300 spaces and a community garden.

The authority had faced pressure from some residents over the delivery of the sports village and improvements to the A168 junction after the latter scheme fell victim to years of delays. Cllr Robson said: “They doubted whether we would deliver the sports village and they doubted whether the junction would be delivered. They have both been delivered.”