A PLANNED new 4,000 home housing development south of York is not off the agenda - despite plans to cut it from a planning blueprint.

As The Press reported yesterday, Heronby, which was earmarked for land near Stillingfleet, has been a key development to deliver long-term housing growth needs for the area up to 2040. 

But North Yorkshire Council’s executive members were told yesterday (February 6) that due to concerns raised about the highways impact of the new settlement which cannot be fully resolved at this stage, the proposals should be removed from the plan and that further consultation is undertaken.

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But Escrick Park Estate who are behind Heronby say the plan remains firmly on the table as North Yorkshire councillors consider the next steps for the county’s development plans.

Heronby could see up to 4,000 new homes with residents served by their own shops, schools, parks and employment space by the year 2065.

York Press: What Heronby could look likeWhat Heronby could look like

The Heronby new settlement proposals were included in the draft Selby Local Plan in 2022. But progress on adopting this plan was delayed when Selby District Council was abolished with the creation of a new unitary council for the whole of North Yorkshire.

The new North Yorkshire Council must have a new full local plan for the whole area in place by May 2028 as a blueprint to guide future housing and infrastructure growth. This will supersede all the Local Plans from the former districts and boroughs in the county.

In the interim, councillors are now being asked to consider a slimmed down Selby Local Plan, without an allocation for Heronby, which will be in effect only until the new county-wide plan is adopted.

Without valid local plans in place, some of the power to control development is taken out of councils’ hands. This is particularly the case if not enough land for new housing can be identified.

Heronby, near Escrick, could see around 1,250 new homes built by 2040. Infrastructure for Heronby’s residents such as new schools, healthcare and recreation facilities was also included in the masterplan for the community.

York Press: A sketch showing what a house in Heronby would look likeA sketch showing what a house in Heronby would look like

Beilby Forbes Adam, from Escrick Park Estate which put forward the Heronby masterplan, said: “We consulted extensively on the plans throughout 2021 and 2022 and Heronby was included in the draft Selby Local Plan. But a new council was then formed from the old county, districts and boroughs and understandably took time to bed in.

“Since our plans were first put forward, the need for new housing locally and nationally has only grown. Heronby is a sustainable response to the urgent housing crisis which delivers not just new houses and flats but all the elements which make a viable, desirable mixed-use low-carbon community people will be proud to call home.

“The idea for Heronby was born at a time when the old Selby council was preparing a new Local Plan to replace its existing plan which was first adopted in 2005. Now a new countywide North Yorkshire Local Plan is being prepared, to take effect from no later than 2028.

“We will work with the new council and other agencies as this fresh, long-term Local Plan is prepared to help to ensure Heronby can play a part in meeting the future housing needs of the people of North Yorkshire.

“When we first started looking at Heronby, we knew that traffic would be one of the main concerns raised – it almost always is with such proposals.

“The latest North Yorkshire Council officers’ report accepts that such issues could be adequately addressed in the longer term.

“We engaged some of the country’s top professionals to look at likely transport impacts and how they could be addressed. A series of improvements along the A19, alongside comprehensive sustainable travel options, were proposed.

“These would make travel on the A19 between Selby and York easier for everyone, even with additional traffic from Heronby included.”

York Press: Beilby Forbes AdamBeilby Forbes Adam

To read more about the Heronby proposals, see www.heronby.co.uk