OBJECTORS to a proposed major new 140 home housing estate in Skipton fear it would spell disaster for the town.

The Pegasus Group, which carried out a public consultation on its 'concept plan' in the spring, is seeking to establish the principle of development at Hawbank Field, at the top of The Bailey.

If it receives planning consent for the scheme, which Craven District Council is consulting on until the end of next week and has a current decision deadline of September 13, it will submit a fully detailed, 'reserved matters' application before it can start work.

So far, around 50 residents of roads surrounding the green field site have objected to the plans, and plans are underway to hold a special meeting of the town council.

Dr Alison Stewart, who lives in Long Meadow, said she was appealing to those who objected as part of the developer's own consultation to repeat their concerns to Craven Council.

"I implore the residents and visitors to our beautiful town to object to this inappropriate and unjustified development, she said.

"Skipton is the 'gateway' to the Yorkshire Dales. What makes it so special is that it has maintained its identity as a market town where its heritage is protected and its ‘small town’ ethos valued - essentially its old world charm. This is what attracts the tourists to the area and is a key source of the town’s prosperity. The proposed development at Hawbank Field will have a negative effect, not only on the neighbourhood, adversely affecting the residential amenity of neighbouring owners, but of Skipton itself."

In its submissions to Craven Council, Pegasus says according to the National Policy Framework, development proposals should be 'approved without delay'.

It says access will be off the A6131, leading to a looped internal road network, and there will be a pedestrian and cycle link though neighbouring Greenacres.

The proposed 140 homes will include 40 per cent - or 56 - affordable, and overall, there will be a mixture of detached, semi-detached and terrace properties.

Two areas of public open space are planned within the 8.8 hectare (21 acre) site, including children's play and informal sport and recreation areas.

"The proposal will make an important contribution towards the district's five year housing supply and provide affordable housing."

Craven councillor Eric Jaquin, who represents Skipton East ward, said he hoped to organise a special meeting of Skipton Town Council's plans committee so councillors were fully aware of residents' feelings before the committee submitted its observations to the planning authority.