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£40m Raithwaite Expansion Plans Rejected

£40m Raithwaite Expansion Plans Rejected

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 4:37pm 7th September 2017. (Updated at 4:55pm 7th September 2017)

Plans to add 190 holiday units to the Raithwaite Estate near Whitby have been rejected by the Borough Council's planning committee.

The £40m expansion plan was expected to bring new visitors to the area and create around 238 jobs.

The Estate currently comprises a 43 bedroom hotel and Spa, The Keep, a 28 bedroom annex facility located on the approach road to the hotel and a number of small clusters of converted farm buildings and cottages in various locations throughout the site.

The expansion plan included

  • 190 holiday units to include 64 cottages, 64 apartments and 62 forest lodges.
  • A new sports and leisure facility which would include a swimming pool, fitness suite
    and tennis court, with a small cafe, shop and creche.
  • A new restaurant built into the slope of the land near the site entrance.
  • Ancillary facilities associated with the provision of the above including a laundry, staff
    facilities and administrative offices

The plans also included a 180 space car park to serve the existing hotel accommodation and the proposed restaurant and sports/leisure facilities, with small areas of car parking provided close to the proposed cottages and apartments.

The plan was for the proposed forest lodges to be accessed by electric vehicles only with occupants'
vehicles left in the main car park.

The plans had been recommended for approval by planning officers but Scarborough Borough Council's planning committee rejected the plans following objections from a number of bodies including The Woodlands Trust and the North York Moors National Park Authority both of which had concerns about potential damage to ancient woodlands.

Jack Taylor, Woodland Trust campaigner, said:

“We are thrilled that the committee saw fit to ignore their officer’s recommendation and  throw out these destructive proposals which would have caused four hectares of damage and loss to a precious, irreplaceable ancient woodland and the wildlife within it. We would like to thank the committee  and all our supporters who campaigned to save this vital habitat.

While this is  great news for the local area, Raithwaite was just one of more than 700 woods under threat and we need to continue to stand up for trees to ensure they are safeguarded from development threats.”

The Woodland Trust say that the planning application would have affected four hectares (10 acres) of ancient woodland with the wildlife most likely to be breeding in the woods including five species of bats, red listed linnet and amber listed bullfinch. The trust say the wood is full of native tree species including ash, poplar, field maple, lime, oak, elder, hazel and hawthorn. Ancient woodland indicator species found there include redcurrant, bluebell and honeysuckle.

Under planning rules the Raithwaite Estate can appeal the decision.

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