A LOCAL authority’s plans to build 30 affordable homes on the edge of a small village has divided opinions with residents claiming it will impact on its heritage.

Hambleton District Council is proposing to create a multi-home development on Skottowe Crescent in Great Ayton.

But some residents have said the expansion of the village will also “remove” the village feel and could “impact” on existing village life.

Ste Smith of Great Ayton, who moved to the village at the beginning of last year, said: "We moved to the village from an area where there were a quite lot of buildings.

“We wanted to go somewhere quite remote – one thing we noticed when we were looking to move is that Stokesley was becoming more and more joined up to Teesside, and it was losing its village reputation.

"The whole purpose of moving here was to live in a village.

“There was no mention of any building work when we secured the home.”

Mr Smith, who claimed the village was beginning to lose its character, added that there had been no trace of people wanting to move into the new homes.

He said: "I don’t see the point in building any more properties here.

"There is no trace at all of people wanting these houses."

Another resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “In Great Ayton there are a number of listed buildings – and they are all round the All Saint’s Church."

The resident said the construction of 30 new homes, built within close proximity of the village’s listed buildings and heritage sites would affect tourism.

He said: “At the back of the church is where Captain Cook’s mother and siblings are buried – the village is an area of unique heritage.

"People come from around the world to visit.”

The resident also highlighted concerns that extra traffic would be created from pedestrians and cars accessing the newly-built homes.

He also said it would negatively impact those already living in and around Skottowe Crescent.

In the plans, Hambleton District Council said a Heritage Statement considering the Great Ayton Conservation Area would be created.

The plans suggested that the land had archaeological potential and that an archaeological assessment would also be needed before the development moved onto the next stage.

The plans agreed that existing boundary features such as hedgerows and mature trees, should be retained to protect existing habitats.

At time of publication, Hambleton District Council has not appeared to have lodge a formal planning application.