New housing developments in Malton which will part fund the proposed new livestock and business centre scheme have been given the go-ahead.
But not before there was a squabble among members of Ryedale District Council’s Planning Committee over claims that one housing scheme involving only affordable homes was tantamount to a “ghetto policy”.
The council’s policy is that up to 33 per cent of a development should involve affordable homes but spread among others in what has previously been described as “pepperpot style”.
Councillor Robert Wainwright felt that the plan by Commercial Development Projects and the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation to erect 50 affordable homes only with no other type of housing on Rainbow Lane, Malton, “seems to be moving away from our policy to a ghetto policy.”
The developers, who submitted the proposals for all three schemes, had claimed it was not viable to have affordable housing on that involving 227 homes on The Showfield site in Pasture Lane, Malton.
Councillor Lindsay Burr said ‘ghetto’ was a “nasty word” for people living in affordable housing.
Chairman Councillor Janet Frank said they should not be stigmatizing people who rented a house as there were many who could not afford to get on the housing ladder but who might do so later.
But Councillor Tommy Woodward said that while he would not have gone as far as Councillor Wainwright in describing the Rainbow Lane scheme as a ghetto it did amount to social division.
“To put all the affordable housing in one place may not be a ghetto but it is social divison and it is disgraceful,” said Councillor Woodward.
Councilor Luke Richardson said: “Ghetto is a shocking word. Are we socially cleansing one part of the town to put social housing elsewhere?”
Councillor Woodward saidthat even with 50 affordable homes that only amounted to 16 per cent “and we have a policy of 33 per cent so the developers are robbing the homeless to help the farmers” to pay for the livestock market.
Councillor Janet Sanderson felt the proposed scheme on Rainbow Lane was a “lovely one. If that is living in a ghetto I would be happy to live there.”
The third scheme will involve around 35 homes on land south of Westgate in OId Malton and would involve the demolition of old buildings on a former council depot and Coronation farmstead.
Councillor Paul Andrews, who attended the meeting as a member of the public, said his main concern was that there was not the infrastructure to accommodate the new developments.
“The schools, surgery etc do not have the capacity to accommodate all the new development which has been approved – let alone these.”
For large-scale developments a contribution is made by the developers to address various issues under what is known as an 106 agreement.
A report to the committee from Gary Housden, the head of planning, said North Yorkshire Education Authority had confirmed that a contribution of £771,500 was required to address capacity deficiencies at Malton Primary School and a further contribution will be required to address similar issues at Malton School.
The Pasture Lane plan was agreed by a vote of six for, one against and one abstention.
The Old Malton scheme was given the go-ahead by five votes for and one abstention while two were against because there were not enough affordable homes.
The Rainbow Lane plan was approved by all the members despite some having misgivings.
Councillor Wainwright said: “We are hoist by our own petard. If we refuse this then we will not get any affordable housing.”
Mr Housden pointed out the Old Malton scheme included four affordable homes but Councillor Woodward retorted this amounted to just 11 per cent of the scheme which was nearer to zero than 33 per cent.