Controversial housing proposals for Molescroft site go on show in Beverley
AFTER months of delays, dispute and conjecture, people can at last see what all the fuss is about.
Designs for a controversial housing plan that involves knocking down and replacing Beverley's biggest secondary school have gone on show.
A consortium of two local property development companies – North Bar Homes Limited and Shirethorn Limited – has drawn up plans to develop 140 acres of land to the west and north of Molescroft.
Forty acres of the site is presently Longcroft School. The developers' proposal is to replace that with a new £25m school in return for being allowed to eat into greenfield land.
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As well as a school, they want to build a new road, a science park, a care home and a petrol station.
Michael Wright, of North Bar Homes, was at Beverley Arms Hotel yesterday to spell out the idea to councillors and other interested parties.
He said: "This is not set in stone. These are working examples of how a school could look."
The diagrams showed an expanded site of about 140 acres, with the new school towards the south, commercial developments to the north and profitable housing dominating the rest of the space.
East Riding Council has a Government target of building 3,200 homes in Beverley in the next 15 years. Several proposals are in the pipeline but the Longcroft consortium believes some of the new homes will have to be built on greenfield land.
All three East Riding ward councillors came out before the opening of the exhibition to condemn the Longcroft proposal.
Mr Wright said: "I was staggered the councillors said that without seeing the exhibition. I don't know where that came from. They said they had received objections from residents but we haven't seen any evidence of that."
The consortium has delivered 5,000 letters about its scheme, predominantly in Molescroft.
So far it had received eight negative replies. It has pledged that, if the response is overwhelmingly negative, it will not press ahead with the plan.
Mr Wright said: "We want to tell people there are new houses coming to Beverley.
"We've a proposal that provides a number of those houses but also provides a new school.
"Beverley would benefit from a new school to rival the new schools that have been built in Hull.
"I know it's in Molescroft but this school would be for the whole of Beverley."
One of the first through the doors of the exhibition yesterday was Beverley Mayor Margaret Pinder.
She said: "I would have preferred to have seen an aerial image, that would have helped me to understand it more.
"Also, I'm not sanguine about the infrastructure. Surely you would need a primary school?
"What we need is a coherent plan for Beverley and it is East Riding Council's job to oversee that vision."
The Longcroft proposal has yet to be formally submitted as an application to East Riding Council.
The authority is also facing two other applications to build homes north of Beverley.
In July, it rejected an application to build 141 new homes north of Woodhall Way. The developer is appealing.
A third planning application, to build a half-mile-long bypass and 162 homes north of Driffield Road, has also been submitted.
None of the three schemes are on land presently earmarked for development but the council is consulting on changing the boundaries of those designations because it knows more land will be needed to meet targets.
The Longcroft proposal is available for people to view from 2pm to 7.30pm today at Beverley Arms Hotel.