Plans for housing development at former Askham Bryan College site in Pickering set for approval

First published in News Gazette & Herald: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

DETAILED plans for a housing development on a former college site in Ryedale could be approved next week.

Proposals for 13 new homes where Askham Bryan College’s “satellite” facility in Pickering once operated were given the go-ahead three years ago despite claims they would harm the appearance of the area and cause roads problems.

Work has yet to begin on the scheme, but Ryedale District Council recently approved allowing more time for the development to get underway.

A full planning application by Yorvik Homes for the properties will be discussed by the authority’s planning committee when it meets on Tuesday.

Planning officers have said the proposals should be given the go-ahead. The development at the Swainsea Lane site would include two, three and four-bedroom homes, with the existing agricultural centre demolished. The Pickering college closed in 2008 following Government cuts in higher education funding, although town councillors and students campaigned for its survival.

A report by council planner Edward Senior said Pickering Town Council had not objected to the latest plans, but had asked for the developers to make a financial contribution towards equipment for the community park in Whitby Road or at alternative sites in the town. He said the site’s “layout and restricted nature” meant such a payment would be “appropriate”.

The report also said several residents who lived near the site had raised concerns and objections over drainage, the loss of hedges and trees and possible damage to their homes during building work, but recommended the scheme should be approved.

The same meeting could also see the end of a drawn-out planning saga surrounding the School House Inn in Low Marishes, near Malton.

Its owners, Matthew and Sarah Richardson, want to turn part of the site into a three-bedroom house but retain the rest of the building as a pub and also provide five letting bedrooms for holidaymakers.

Three previous applications for the building were turned down, and although the latest proposals were approved in principle in August, certain planning conditions still had to be resolved and further objections from local residents have since been submitted.

Planners have now recommended issuing a decision notice confirming the scheme can go ahead as long as those conditions are met.

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