A PLAN to build a retirement village on the edge of Pickering was recommended for rejection by the town council at its meeting on Monday night.

The scheme, by Methodist Homes, is to build 168 assisted living units comprising 90 care suites and 78 bungalows, together with community facilities, access, parking and landscaping on land in Crossgate Lane.

But 20 residents attended the council meeting to protest at the scheme which now goes to Ryedale District Council for a final decision.

One of the objectors, Mrs Alison Fuller, said: “This is a green field site and there is no special justification for the development.”

She said that the Crossgate Lane site was historic because it was a 17th century enclosure field with prominent landscape features.

Other residents decribed the three-storey development as “abhorrent” and totally out of keeping in Pickering.

Mike Potter, of Pickering Civic Society, said if the building went ahead it would put pressure on another field on the opposite side of the road to be developed.

Coun Julie Hepworth said: “The scale of this development is just not for Pickering. We are in danger of become a town of older people.”

But Coun Mal Danks said that while there were potential traffic problems with the scheme, and concerns abut its size, Pickering did not have a special care facility.

“We shouldn’t be too quick to say we don’t want one,” he said.

The mayor, Coun William Oxley, said traffic management in Crossgate Lane would be difficult.

“There are a lot of questions which need answers,” he said.