‘A disaster!’ Villagers say housing estate plan will lead to ‘an eradication of history’
Residents of an historic village say a plan to build a housing estate across open grassland represents “an eradication of local history”.
Hambleton District Council has received scores of objections about a proposal lodged by Lovell Homes’ to bulldoze agricultural outbuildings and build 40 homes on Peggy’s Field, off the main route through South Otterington, near Northallerton.
Residents say the village is in the Domesday Book as ploughland and the field has historic features.
The housing estate would “destroy one of the last parts of this given almost no other medieval remains exist in South Otterington”.
One objector said: “The development is planned to be built on land that has been in the village for many years, where the local villagers have been allowed to graze animals and have access for recreational health. It is an eradication of local history.”
Opponents argue the proposed development would overwhelm the village which had a population of 338 in the 2021 census, increasing the number of houses in the village by a third and the population by two-thirds.
While residents have claimed the proposed estate will further aggravate traffic and safety issues in the area, Maunby, Newby Wiske and South Otterington Parish Council said the development could “only be viewed as a purely money-making scheme and it does not bring any benefit to the village”.
‘Makes no sense’
In its objection, a parish spokeswoman said: “It does not make any sense to build 40 houses in a rural village where residents can’t walk to local amenities and lacks a regular bus service.
“The only amenities the village has is a church, primary school, garage and pub. There is very little employment. The bus service is very poor, only providing services to Thirsk or Northallerton, 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.”
In the planning application Lovell Homes says the scheme would meet the authority’s requirement for 30 per cent affordable housing and “good design principles to achieve a development which is well connected, attractive and sustainable”.
Lovell Homes has also underlined that the site is allocated for a development of about 40 homes under the district’s Local Plan, which came into force last year following hearings and consultations where the public was given the chance to comment over proposals to earmark sites for construction.
The application states: “The principle of housing development on the site is therefore established in an up to date local plan and the site is a suitable location for housing development.”
However, residents have contended the situation in the village has changed following small-scale housing schemes being approved and ahead of the expected opening of the PGL children’s activity centre at nearby Newby Wiske Hall.