Earswick villagers protest at scheme for 1,300 homes
Updated 10:52am Tuesday 8th July 2014 in News
PEOPLE in Earswick have had their first chance to find out more about plans which could see their village grow by as many as 1,300 homes.
Yesterday developers the Thirteen Group help a public exhibition at at Earswick village hall to show residents what their scheme for land east of the village looks like.
The land is part of an 88 hectare plot included in the Local Plan Further Sites consultation document, and the plans already attracted heavy opposition in the village.
Earswick resident Jacky Ridley is part of an action group already formed to fight the proposals. She said many in the village were angry with what they saw as a failure to address major infrastructure problems like impact a new settlement would have on the already congested York ring road.
The village currently only has 360 homes and would be swamped by a development of this size, she said, and many are concerned at the high proportion - 50 percent - of affordable homes that are included in the proposals.
Geoff Mortimer, who lives nearby on Earswick Chase, said the village was "up in arms" at the scheme, while another Earswick resident Jenny Gumbold said many had been shocked at the speed of the development. Residents village learnt about only days after the Local Plan document first proposing the land be taken out of the greenbelt was published, and felt they were being presented with a "fait accompli", she said.
"A couple of days after it was first mooted to take the land out of greenbelt, this plan came through the door and their seemed to be nothing we could do about it."
But another resident, who did not want to be named, said she supported the scheme to bring more affordable housing to the area.
"I think we need more houses, and this is one of the better schemes included in the council's plans."
At the public exhibition was development manager Louise Nicholson from Thirteen, as well as John England from Strata Homes and Steve Howard from construction contractors Southdale.
They said the meeting was arranged to give people chance to learn more about the plans.
Mr England added: "There's been a good turn out and people have had a lot of constructive opinions."
With the plans at very early stages, he said the earliest work could start - if the proposals get the go ahead - would be 2016/17.