ONE of the largest Scout groups in North Yorkshire is awaiting approval to build a new hut at a primary school.

1st Holgate Scout Group,  in York, was founded in 1981 and has doubled in size since 2009 to 350 members. 

It “has now reached a point where suitably robust, spacious accommodation with outdoor space is unavailable to meet the demand from local young people,” according to a planning proposal to build a new hut. 

The application site comprises a parcel of land to the east of Acomb Primary School.

The planning application went out for consultation on Wednesday, December 27, and neighbours have submitted views to the City of York Council’s online planning portal. 

Toni Mayner said: “I am generally in support of this development, however, the site was used by the Scouts for an event recently and the use of a megaphone (or) amplified sound system was not ok  - it was very loud and intrusive.”

Ms Mayner asked for limits to be put on the volume that could be permitted, adding: “Based on the event if this happens on a regular basis, it will diminish the quality of life for residents.  “Currently the street offers a quiet haven to people, birds and animals.”

Sarah Beatham said: “The proposed development would provide a valuable amenity for the community and I appreciate the efforts that will be made to enhance the nature value of the area. 

“My only concern is that the school has, in the past few years, neglected to manage some of its hedge boundaries, leading them to become overgrown, blocking out light to neighbouring properties, requiring money and extra effort to manage and generally looking messy. 

“I hope if these plans go ahead, that existing hedges will be maintained adequately as well as the proposed newly planted vegetation. 

“I support the use of unmown areas of grass to support wildlife, however, I do not want this to be used as an excuse to completely neglect areas of hedges that can have a direct negative impact on neighbouring properties.”

The huge increase in the Scout group’s numbers since it was first formed has meant it needed to split over four sites in the local area.  The proposed building has overall dimensions of 35m x 15m, which would include a main hall, a breakout room, three stores at ground floor level, an office, meeting rooms, a first-floor multi-function room, a kitchen and toilets.

According to the applicant: “This compromises the group’s ability to provide the quality of Scout experience which it would like to and, logistically, places unnecessary demands on its volunteers.”

The application form also says that “careful consideration has been given to the impact of the use of the building and land on the neighbouring dwellings” which “has resulted in a commitment to a well-conceived landscaping plan and early consideration of a travel plan, the combination of which will serve to reduce the impact of the use on the neighbouring properties.”