COUNCILLORS will next week decide whether a huge housing development can be built in a Ryedale town on a site which has been dogged by controversy.

Gladman Developments is seeking permission for up to 225 homes at Westfields, in Kirkbymoorside, after rethinking a previously approved scheme which would have included a care complex.

It was given the go-ahead after a councillor who opposed it pressed the wrong voting button.

Planning officials at Ryedale District Council have said Gladman’s latest proposals should go ahead, with a meeting to debate the application being held on Tuesday, as Ryedale does not have a five-year supply of housing land. Kirkbymoorside Town Council has opposed the development and 39 objection letters have been lodged.

The concerns range from the impact on the town’s character, a shortage of local school places, the loss of trees and farmland and potential harm to local footpaths and views across the countryside.

Gladman’s original application, including 210 homes and 50 care apartments for elderly people, was approved last August.

However, committee member Coun David Cussons, who had spoken against the development, inadvertently pressed the “approval” button on the electronic voting system when the time came to make a decision.

Next week’s vote will now be taken on a show of hands, with the mistake leading to two residents submitting an application to Leeds High Court for a judicial review of the council’s decision to grant planning permission.

A report on the new scheme by planning official Shaun Robson said North Yorkshire County Council had raised issues about the care facility previously intended for the Westfields site and was “pleased” it had been withdrawn.

It said Gladman would contribute towards education, road improvements and affordable housing, including land for the local school to expand.

In its objection, the town council said: “The proposal is far in excess of what is suitable for Kirkbymoorside and would have a considerable adverse effect on the environment, while we are concerned it would lead to an unacceptable increase in the level of traffic in the area.”