Semi-derelict Craven District Council-owned garage sites are to be replaced with new homes.
A total of 14 homes, including ten affordable, are to be built at the sites in Cononley, Glusburn, High Bentham and Ingleton – despite criticism that the council had let the garages fall into disrepair, leaving no alternative but to redevelop.
The council’s planning committee was told that in all cases structural reports carried out in 2012 had revealed the garages were in a poor state, had asbestos roofs and posed a potential danger to any children playing nearby.
Members approved plans for two detached bungalows off Lakeber Drive, High Bentham, and six affordable flats and apartments off Burnmoor Crescent, Ingleton.
Also approved were four affordable apartments and semi-detached homes at Meadowcroft, Cononley, and a pair of semi-detached, three bedroom homes off Burnroyd Avenue, Glusburn.
A fifth application for a pair of three bedroom semi-detached homes on a piece of land next to Harper Grove, Sutton-in-Craven, was narrowly turned down because it was felt the site was a valuable piece of open space.
Coun David Ireton (Cons) asked for clarification that the Ingleton homes would always remain affordable because of a desperate need in the area.
But he also suggested that the council had failed in its duty to keep the garages in a useable state, leaving no alternative but to redevelop the land.
“It is a pity when any local authority lets its property get into such a state,” he said.
At High Bentham, councillors heard that residents close to the Lakeber Drive garages had in some cases adopted parts of the site, putting up gateways, and were opposed to the proposals.
Ward councillor Coun Lin Barrington (Ind) said she had contacted residents in 2012 suggesting that they get together and buy the garages to stop them from being developed, but that had not been successful.
She commented that children played in the area, but she could see no alternative but for the site to be developed.
Approval of a pair of semi-detached homes on the site of seven garages off Burnroyd Avenue, Glusburn, was given with the condition that alternative accommodation be found for sandbags stored in one of the garages.
It was suggested that the 800 sandbags, needed in the case of flooding in the Glusburn area, were to be relocated to a temporary building sited at Townend garages.
Committee chairman Coun Richard Welch (Cons) took no part in the discussions of the applications or the decisions after declaring a potential conflict of interest as a member of the council’s policy committee, which decided on the disposal of the garage sites.
All applications are in outline and will return to the council for details to be approved.