Appeal against controversial Thirsk housing development dismissed

THE planning inspectorate has dismissed an appeal by a developer after it was refused permission to build a housing estate in North Yorkshire.

Persimmon Homes Yorkshire’s bid to build 47 homes at Sowerby near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was turned down earlier this year by Hambleton District Council.

The housing developers said its proposal to develop the derelict Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs buffer depot site, in Melbourne Place, Sowerby, would provide much-needed affordable homes on a brownfield site in a residential area.

It said the company would also address concerns raised about the estate during the planning process.

The first plans submitted for the site involved building 51 homes on the 1.2 hectare site.

At the time, Hambleton district councillors said the developer should be "hanging its head in shame" over how it proposed to pack houses into the estates, the blueprints for which were described as "absolutely ridiculous" and "disgraceful".

It was also told to increase the number of car parking spaces, which amounted to 1.25 spaces per property.

Persimmon Homes Yorkshire amended its original plans to reduce the number of terraced, semi-detached and detached homes on the 1.2 hectare site from 51 to 47 and duly increased the number of parking spaces to 83.

It also reduced the number of three-storey properties in the plan. But councillors still expressed grave concerns about the plans, with one councillor, Derek Adamson, describing it as “a boil on the backside”.

Now the planning inspectorate has dismissed the appeal by Persimmon Homes.

Planning inspector Louise Crosby looked at the effect of the proposal on the character of the surrounding land, the living conditions it would offer residents and whether it made appropriate provision for affordable housing, education and public open space contribution.

She concluded the “significant harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area and the harm to existing living conditions as a result of increased noise and disturbance” would “significantly” outweigh the benefits of the proposals.

No-one from Persimmon Homes Yorkshire was available to comment.

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