RESIDENTS responded angrily to the approval of plans for 15 new homes in Cononley on Monday.

Several turned up to Craven District Council's planning committee in a bid to urge councillors to either defer the application off Meadow Lane for a site visit, or turn it down.

However, it was approved - providing a written "no objection" was received from Yorkshire Water.

Councillors had been advised by planning officers to approve the scheme following the receipt of no objections from the highways authority, the Environment Agency and a verbal no objection from Yorkshire Water.

At Monday's meeting, a spokesman for objectors said there were many concerns to the application by John Teal to develop the two fields immediately to the east of Meadow Close.

They included a build up of traffic, difficult access and the ultimate down-grading of the character of the village.

Lois Brown, chairman of Cononley Parish Council, said the council was not against development, which it saw as contributing to the future of the village, but thought the density of the scheme was too high.There were also issues with traffic causing a bottleneck around the school and a potential risk to pedestrians.

Coun Patrick Mulligan, newly elected ward councillor, called on the committee to consider the cumulative impact of housing developments in the village and pointed out Mr Teal's application would mean a ten per cent increase in its size.

But committee chairman Coun Richard Welch (Cons, Penyghent) said he could see no benefit in a site visit as councillors had all the information they needed.

Members were told the application needed to be judged on its own merits - despite an expected quota of three new houses per year in the village, set against 160 for the whole of Craven.

Coun David Ireton (Cons, Ingleton and Clapham) said he had great concerns about the density of the development and that Cononley appeared to be getting far more than its fair share of new houses.

"This would represent ten per cent of the projected 160 for the whole of Craven, and I think that is somewhat unfair," he said.

Councillors were told the scheme "performed well" in terms of the government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). A refusal would have to be justified and there were no grounds to refuse it. In addition, the council was still in the process of putting together its own local plan.

"I think we are going to be fully developed before we get a local plan. It is quite sad that we are in this situation," said Coun Ireton.