THE planned building of six new homes on the site of the now demolished Rockwood House in Park Wood Close, Skipton, has been rejected by councillors for the second time.

An earlier application by Firth Developments was refused permission just three months ago, in December, by Craven District Council’s Planning Committee with members of the committee objecting to the size of two of the proposed new homes.

The re-submitted plan, which was recommended for approval at Monday’s planning committee meeting, was for three, four bedroom, two storey properties, and two dormer bungalows - one with three bedrooms, and one with two.

At the meeting, Jay Everett, for the developers said his client had listened to concerns, and significantly reduced the size of two of the properties. He also acknowledged there were still objections, including from as far away as Stockton-on-Tees.

But Skipton Town Councillor Tony Barrett said too many houses were being proposed and allowing the development could open the floodgates and change the nature of the estate. It was a question of ‘retaining the best, and improving the rest’, he said.

And Ann Fowler, who said she represented the views of 29 objectors, said the proposed development went against the original intention of the Rockwood Estate, which was for just eight homes per acre.

She described it as ‘garden grabbing’ and also made reference to a restrictive covenant, but was told that was a private matter and not something for the planning committee.

Ward councillor John Dawson said the re-submitted application was very similar to the original scheme and in his opinion, an overdevelopment of the site. “The majority of objectors would not object to three or four houses on the site, “ he said, adding that the developer had shown a disregard to the surrounding residents.

Cllr Ian Thompson said the site was not a brownfield site, but it had been previously developed, and the council could not afford to keep to just eight homes per acre.

A proposal to approve the scheme by Cllr Thompson was lost, by four votes to five. A proposal to reject the scheme, by Cllr Robert Heseltine, was passed and the application was turned down on grounds of overdevelopment and overlooking of neighbours.