CITY planners are backing a scheme for 21 homes in a village west of York, despite drainage and other concerns in the village and its Green Belt location.

Dunnington-based Mulgrave Development seeks to build the houses on a 1ha site east of Middlewood Close, Rufforth, on grassland adjoining the village school.

If approved by the Planning Committee of York Council next Thursday (Aug 11), the scheme promises a mixture of two, three and four-bed homes, both market and affordable.

A report prepared for the meeting says since the plans were submitted last year, changes have been made, such as house types and a proposed pumping station shown as being to the east of the site now relocated to its west.  The layout of the site has also changed to reflect parking concerns.

The site is allocated within York’s Green Belt, but has been allocated for housing in the 2018 Draft Local Plan.

The report noted no opposition from various agencies, such as Highways and utility companies, and support from Rufforth and Parish Council for housing on the site, despite their concerns building on Green Belt land sets ‘a dangerous precedent.’

The parish council also noted residents already suffer ‘severe problems with sewerage’ and existing infrastructure is ‘not fit for purpose’, calling for a ‘complete renewal’ of such facilities in the area, not just for this scheme.

Twelve objections and four other representations raised similar concerns, noting nearby fields often flood, and housing was not an acceptable use of Green Belt, especially in a village with plenty of housing.

However, council planning staff says the 2018 Emerging Local Plan will take Rufforth out of the Green Belt once adopted. The homes reflected rural character and the design and layout of the scheme was in keeping with the village. There was a landscaping plan, featuring tree-planting, and existing trees and hedgerows would be retained. The homes would also feature electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

Recommending approval, the council seeks Section 106 contributions exceeding £250,000- more than £10,000 per home, with six of the 21 homes also classed as affordable.

Some £113,856 would go towards expansion and facilities at Rufforth Academy and £78,378 for  Phase 1 expansion at Manor CE Academy, Poppleton.

Furthermore, £7,097 would help fund amenity space, £16,832 toward play space and £10,011 toward sports provision the village.

The report said the policy compliant level of affordable housing would contribute to such housing in York and it also represented sustainable development and would help meet government aims to boost housing supply.

It added approval would not prejudice the Local Plan making process and subject to conditions met local and national planning policies. The planners also said the infrastructure required to support the development can be secured.