Property specialist calls for planning committee hearing following decision making concerns
Helmsley Group has submitted plans for a residential development close to the village of Welburn in North Yorkshire.
The plans would see the demolition of existing office and commercial buildings at Welburn Business Park and construction of nine four-bedroom homes.
The latest planning application submitted to North Yorkshire Council is a resubmission of an earlier application by Helmsley for nine homes which was refused by planning officers before it reached committee stage.
Helmsley has previously been granted consent via a planning appeal for the conversion of the office building on part of the site to ten one-bedroom apartments.
Although it already has this consent, as part of a wider strategy the property specialist is committed to bringing much needed family housing to North Yorkshire for which the scheme now proposed is better suited.
Tom Riddolls, development surveyor at Helmsley Group, said: “Given the previous appeal decision for the conversion we secured at Welburn Business Park, plus the majority of the village community having shown strong support for our proposals, we believe this application should be brought before the appropriate North Yorkshire Council planning committee.
“Our original application for nine family homes was determined under delegated powers by the planning officers without going to planning committee. This follows public criticism by many Councillors that the number of applications reaching committee stage has been drastically reduced since the former district and borough councils became part of the unitary North Yorkshire Council.”
“We understand the cost pressures placed on local authorities and the subsequent preference for planning decisions to be made by the planning officers, rather than going through the planning committee process. This application, however, is an example of why planning committees are in place.
“We believe there are exceptional circumstances around why a commercial site, which has been largely vacant for more than three years, should be permitted for redevelopment to deliver family housing, particularly at a time when there is such a need regionally.”
The resubmitted development will take the form of a traditional farmstead comprising a combination of linked stone and brick buildings together with several detached timber clad barns.
An internal courtyard will be created for shared use by homeowners alongside planted gardens. Each property will have its own integral garage with access to the homes being provided via an existing private driveway off Greets House Road.
Tom added: “We have made positive changes in the resubmitted application. These include the proposed development enabling the removal of tired buildings not in keeping with the local area; the introduction of traditional building styles in keeping with an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; and reduced traffic and associated noise levels.
“Having successfully delivered many residential property schemes across Yorkshire over previous years, we believe this proposal is sensitive and wholly appropriate to its surroundings, and will bring much needed family housing to the local area and to an underused commercial site.”