NORTON councillors have rejected plans for a housing development in the town due to concerns over flooding.

They also felt the number of homes, on the site of a former agricultural depot, was excessive and there were access issues.

Proposals for 18 houses and flats on a triangular area of land between Springfield Garth and Lakeside Way, have been submitted to Ryedale District Council by Thomas Crown Associates.

The firm said the development would have a mixture of one to five-bedroomed homes.

Members of Norton Town Council also heard that access to the site would be via Lakeside Way and St Peter’s Street.

Deputy mayor Councillor Di Keal said that while it was encouraging that there were to be six affordable houses, the application should be turned down. “The land has been vacant for a long time but I do not feel 18 properties should be crammed into such a small space and where there will be limited parking, especially when we are experiencing parking problems elsewhere in town,”she said.

“There is also the point of the access points, one of which goes over a footpath, which is muchused by a lot of people including parents and children going to and from school. On top of this there is the issue of flooding which has been a problem in that area and which has been raised by residents living in Springfield Garth.

“Our Victorian sewers are already full to capacity. It would be very foolish to build on this site and increase the risk of flooding since it is in the middle of a flood plain.”

The 0.5 hectare site currently houses several buildings from its time as the Rawlings agricultural depot, which would be demolished.

Councillor David Lloyd-Williams said he strongly objected to the number of properties.

“This is a larger number of houses to be built on this site which although it has been unused for many years was once one of Norton’s thriving businesses,” he added.

“If the Environment Agency has decided this is a flood plain and it does not allow development on a flood plain, then it should be refused for that reason, as well as excessive development of an enclosed space.”