New homes can be built on site of Whitby landslip that led to demolition of cottages

A look at the iconic view of Whitby Abbey
A look at the iconic view of Whitby Abbey -Credit:Teesside Live

New homes can be built on the site of a Whitby landslip that led to the demolition of five cottages in 2012.

North Yorkshire Council has approved the construction of three new townhouses on Aelfleda Terrace, off Church Street, in Whitby despite multiple objections. The site, which has clear views across the harbour, has been vacant for more than a decade after the landslip left five 19th-century cottages hanging over a sheer drop.

Kris Blake of Abbeyfield Developments Ltd now has permission to build the five dwellings after a previous application for eight apartments was rejected two years ago. The development will see the construction of three townhouses forming a terrace with a staggered roofline and two studio apartments below.

However, Whitby Town Council objected to the plan citing concerns that the roofline was "inappropriate" and that the basement flats represented an "overdevelopment" of the site. The town's Civic Society also opposed the scheme as the "design is out of keeping and will impact upon views of the Abbey".

North Yorkshire Council's conservation officer had originally also objected, raising concerns about the "impact on key views and vistas". However, following amendments to the plan the officer said there would be "no harm" if appropriate conditions were implemented.

The conservation officer said: "The design would have a neutral impact on the character and appearance of Whitby's conservation area including views and vistas which contribute to this special character." Six members of the public also objected to the development citing concerns about the "impact on historic buildings".

Planning officers said that following various changes to the development plan the houses would "not appear incongruous in long-distance views" and that the use of "suitably authentic materials" would ensure they "blend in with the surrounding built environment". Despite some concerns by members of the public about overshadowing, officers said there would be "an acceptable level of light remaining".

A report states that "the site constraints are such that it shall be necessary to have a well-managed construction site" and a construction management plan will be required. The development was approved by North Yorkshire Council on Tuesday, April 30.