OBJECTORS to a planned scheme to replace a bungalow in Farnhill with a terrace of three new homes responded with applause following it’s refusal by councillors.

Despite being recommended to approve the scheme at Starkey Lane, councillors at Monday’s Planning Committee meeting of Craven District Council agreed with a strong showing of opposed residents that it would harm the look of the area.

Councillors also agreed that there would be overlooking of existing properties and damage highway safety, with occupiers of the new homes having to reverse out onto narrow Starkey Lane.

The meeting heard that applicant, Elliott Exley intended to demolish the existing bungalow, Fairmount, and replace it with three new homes, to be lived in by him, his father, and his father’s business partner.

The original intention was for the homes to be three storey, but they were reduced in height in addition to a number of other changes, following discussions with the council’s planning officers.

Parish councillor, David Atkinson, speaking for Farnhill Parish Council, said to approve the application would be an affront to the whole village.

Not one member of the parish council was in favour of the application, it was a ‘gross overdevelopment’ of the site, and would ‘stick out like a sore thumb,’ he said.

Andrew Coates, agent for Mr Exley, described the lengthy pre-application discussions that had taken place with both the planning authority and with North Yorkshire highways. He said following objections to the initial submission, a number of changes were made, including the reduction in height of the proposed homes by a metre. They had always tried to listen to feedback, he said.

Ward councillor, Andy Brown, said overall, the application had received 380 objections.

“Three storey, three homes rammed into the site is far too many. The amendments are minor, they are still three storey to all intents and purposes,” he said.

His fellow ward councillor, Patrick Mulligan questioned the decision of the highways authority to raise no objection to the scheme, and commented: “Highways seem to have treated it as a box-ticking exercise,” he said.

Cllr Stephen Place said he and his wife regularly walked in the area, including Starkey Lane.

“I believe these three homes are out of character and having parking at the front would be an alien feature.”

Cllr Roger Baxandall moved refusal of the application, against the recommendation of the planning officer, on grounds that the scheme would be an overdevelopment of the site, and its impact on the privacy and amenity of neighbouring properties.

Following the unanimous refusal by councillors, a member of the audience said: “I know we are not supposed to speak, but thank-you anyway.”