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Mayor's fury as Kirkbymoorside housing plans approved
A LARGE housing development on farm land outside Kirkbymoorside has been approved by Ryedale District Council, prompting fury from the town’s mayor.
The scheme for 260 new homes has given the green light at a meeting of Ryedale District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, August 28, only two months after an almost identical scheme was refused by the same committee.
The Gladman Development scheme will see 210 houses and 50 apartments with care for older people built on fields around Kirkbymoorside Primary School, north of the A170 on Kirkdale Road.
Kirkbymoorside Mayor Coun Chris Dowie has said she is furious with decision, which flies in the face of the town council’s plea that the plans be turned down for being too big, for being outside Kirkby’s development limits, and over worries about road safety and its proximity to the school.
Speaking after the meeting, Coun Dowie said: “I think it’s absolutely dreadful, and I feel very let down by our elected representatives and the people who advise them.”
Ryedale council planning officials supported the scheme and recommended that councillors approve it.
They told the committee the four matters which had led them to reject the earlier application had been dealt with. They included concerns there was not enough land given for future expansion at the primary school; not enough affordable housing; worries over archaeology on the site; and not enough landscaping proposed by the developers.
They also spoke of a public inquiry due to start into the earlier application on September 3, whicht they said could be very costly to the council if they appeared to act unreasonably by refusing this later scheme.
Head of Planning and Housing Gary Housden said: “The public inquiry starting next week is based on the decision where this council did not object to development, in principle, on this site."
The committee’s chairman Coun John Raper added: “It’s accepted in principle for development on this site and the four items have been addressed. [To refuse] would be perverse and cost us a huge amount of money because we would be perceived to be unreasonable.”
Kirkbymoorside district councillor David Cussons originally spoke against the scheme, saying the houses would “stick out like a sore thumb” and should not be built on good farm land when lower quality land was available, but he later voted against his own proposal to refuse the plans.
Planning permission was approved by a narrow margin with six councillors abstaining, two voting to refuse it and two to approve, meaning the chairman Coun Raper cast his deciding vote to approve the plans.