DEVELOPERS have outlined plans for housing on a controversial site in a popular North Yorkshire village famous as the boyhood home of Captain James Cook.

The scheme is for 35 homes including ten affordable homes and four self build plots on the land at School Farm, Great Ayton. Two of the new homes would be created by converting a traditional sandstone barn, although other existing buildings would be demolished to make way for the development.

In 2015, more than 600 people objected to plans for a development of 113 houses around the School Farm area, half of them affordable homes. The scheme sparked two public inquiries. There was so much concern the appeal had to move venues twice so members of the public could attend.

Now planning consultants Saddington Taylor say their plans are a chance to bring much-needed new housing to Great Ayton. Speaking on behalf of the applicants, Jonathan Saddington said: “The School Farm development is a rare opportunity to deliver much-needed housing in Great Ayton, and its location is superb. A safe access can be created off Station Road, and future residents would find themselves within a stone’s throw of Great Ayton’s shops and leisure facilities.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

“The applicants are local people who hold Great Ayton close to their hearts, and this is reflected in their approach to the application. They’ve been at pains to ensure that the design respects local heritage, and they’ve made sure that it includes elements that would benefit the wider community. They instructed us to consult close neighbours before the design was finalised and requested several design changes in response to the comments.

“Change isn’t always universally popular, but new housing is required, and this development can deliver it in a way that makes an all-around positive contribution to Great Ayton.”

The consultants say a 2021 housing survey identified a need for 48 open-market houses and 33 affordable homes in Great Ayton. However they point out that no development sites were allocated in the village by the new Hambleton Local Plan. They claim this means that the council will need to try and address the shortfall through ad-hoc developments known as “windfall sites,” the technical term for development sites not specifically identified by the Local Plan.

Mr Saddington added: “The School Farm development would be one such windfall site and would go some way to addressing local housing need. According to the application documents, the development will also deliver a range of additional benefits, including extensive landscaping and woodland planting, a reduction in surface water flows to a nearby water course, a new pedestrian and cycle link between the village centre and train station, a small public car park, and an informal children’s play area.”

The company says it will be providing updates on the proposed development via Facebook and Twitter @SchoolFarmHomes. It is not known when the planning application is due to be submitted.