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Ampleforth residents back limit to house building
3:40pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
RESIDENTS of Ampleforth have voted in favour of restricting development in the village to a certain number of houses.
In a poll held last week, 87 per cent of those who voted agreed that a maximum limit of four dwellings should be imposed on all established green field sites throughout Ampleforth village and the parish.
Villagers voted to hold the public vote in August after an application was submitted by David Wilson Homes to build 30 houses on land off Station Road.
Ten residents called the parish meeting and proposed the poll using a recent amendment to the Local Government Act (1972).
Jo Priestman, one of the campaigners, said they were absolutely delighted with the result.
“Whether anyone will take any notice is another matter but at least this tells Ryedale District Council what we want,” she said.
“Of 263 electors, 228 said Yes, restrict development, and 35 said No. There is a lesson to be learned by other communities using this democratic tool: don’t confuse people with having to say “yes” to restrict development—it’s counterintuitive,” she added.
Mrs Priestman said the village owed a great deal to Dr Frank Ellis whose initiative and painstaking research made the use of this democratic tool possible.
“Our representatives on district and parish councils now have a very strong mandate to refuse attempts by planning officials and big companies to impose unnecessary growth using phoney, bureaucratically-imposed labels such as ‘service village’ as an excuse,” she added.
“There are scores of houses standing empty throughout Ryedale —many of them new builds, such as in Hovingham. We say democracy must be allowed to protect us from the pointless ruination of our precious green spaces.”
A spokesperson for Ryedale District Council said the poll had gone well and they had received a number of positive letters from residents.