A PROPERTY developer has faced backlash from the council over a £1.5 million redevelopment project in Pickering.

Newspan Construction Ltd, based in Thirsk, are nearing competition of their project to turn a grade II listed property on Potters Hill, Pickering, into high quality apartments.

The developers plan to install large planters on the pavement outside the property to stop cars parking there, but North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) have not backed these plans.

Mark McCalmont, director of Newspan Construction, feels that cars parking outside the property takes away from the look of the building, and is unsafe as it means cars must back out onto the busy road.

Gazette & Herald: The location of the £1.5 million project in PickeringThe location of the £1.5 million project in Pickering

Mr McCalmont, 44, said it is unfair that cars are allowed to park in an “unsafe” way when the developers have had to follow strict rules throughout the build to keep the area is safe.  

After initially installing the planters, the developers were told by the county council that they would need a Street Furniture License, given that the planters were on the council owned pavement.

They obliged, removed the planters, and installed a construction barrier.

However, the developers were refused a Street Furniture License for the planters.

Gazette & Herald: Cars had previously parked on the curb outside the grade II listed property Cars had previously parked on the curb outside the grade II listed property

Richard Marr, highways area manager at NYCC, said that NYCC, in conjunction with Pickering Town Council, “permitted the developers to use the parking area while work was underway”, but said “it now needs to be returned to parking spaces.”

A spokesperson for Pickering Town Council said the council refused to submit a Street Furniture License because “the loss of parking in this area was a significant problem for residents.”

Mr McCalmont said: “We’re just a small developer paying our taxes trying to improve the area and make it a better place.”

Emma Woodland, senior heritage and building conservation officer at Ryedale District Council, backed Newspan Construction’s plans stating that, “Measures taken to reduce parked cars in this area may have a positive impact on the setting of the listed building and conservation area.”

The developers’ temporary construction barrier was removed by NYCC, which prompted them to reinstall the planters.

Gazette & Herald: Developers installed a construction barrier as work continuedDevelopers installed a construction barrier as work continued

Richard Marr, highways area manager at NYCC, said: “We asked the developers to remove their barriers but when they refused, we took action to remove them.

"The developers have subsequently installed planters which we asked to be removed but they are yet to do so. Therefore, we are now taking action to remove them.”

Now, Mr McCalmont said he has been charged £380 for the removal of the barriers by NYCC but explained that he will be refusing to pay the fine as he feels the amount is incorrect.

The developer said he is prepared to go to court over the matter and has asked the council for a breakdown of costs.

Mr McCalmont has written to Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, about the issue and plans to employ a safety consultant to look into the matter.

Kevin Hollinrake declined to comment.

Newspan construction have created a survey where members of the public can share their thoughts on the issue: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N9R2L5M