RESIDENTS of Sutton-in-Craven turned out at a meeting to object to plans to build 29 houses in a field at the 'gateway to the village'.

The plans, submitted by Mr H Ingham, of Glusburn, call for the construction of a mix of one, two, three and four bedroom properties on pasture land off Main Street / Sutton Lane.

The application was discussed at a meeting of Sutton-in-Craven Parish Council, and more than 40 villagers attended to voice their objections to a proposal which the council believes "will cause the village to visually coalesce with Eastburn".

According to a heritage, planning and design and access statement prepared by Ickornshaw-based Planet Architecture Ltd, "development of the site with residential use would represent a natural extension of the built-up area, which lies to the north and west, and the overall pattern of settlement and open landscape would not be adversely altered."

However, the parish council objected to the application for the following reasons:

• Through the loss of this open land, the proposal will harmfully erode the village character and identity.

• Views out of the village to the surrounding countryside are an important component of its character. The proposal will cause the village to visually coalesce with Eastburn and lose its identity.

• There is no natural boundary to obviously confine the further encroachment of such development and the plans submitted mention phase one.

• The development would alter the relationship of the village with the countryside. The gable ends of the stone terraced cottages in Wilson Street and Harker Street serve as a ‘gateway to the village’.

• Brownfield sites should be developed first.

• There are approximately 320 affordable units already in Sutton-in-Craven and the village has had more than its fair share of affordable housing.

• The narrow streets nearby are not well suited to accommodate additional traffic.

A spokesman for the parish council added: "There is strong feeling in the village that Sutton has had enough housing with the Silent Night Mill complex, Woodturners, Greenroyd Mill and ten further houses to be developed up West Lane.

But the planning statement prepared by Planet Architecture said: "The appropriateness of the site in Sutton-in-Craven as a location for further housing development is reinforced by the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) allocation as a preferred site.

"As such, it is considered that the location and scale of the housing proposed on the application site would be consistent with policies promoting a sustainable pattern of development in the Craven district.

"Furthermore, although the application site is green field land, it is well-located in relation to the built-up areas and their form in the locality and as such, it can be concluded that a housing proposal in this location represents a sustainable form of development and should comply with policies H1 and H2 of the emerging draft Local Plan."