A HOUSING developer is taking the unusual step of seeking support to reduce an approved scheme of 105 homes to just 50.

Keyhaven Homes, which has approval to build on land off North Parade, Skipton, has written to residents around the Greatwood area of town asking if they would prefer a smaller scheme instead of the one already rubber-stamped.

The move has been greeted favourably by ward councillor Cllr Andy Solloway, who said fewer houses and less traffic would benefit everyone already living nearby and would create better quality housing.

The leaflet titled Your Community, Your Choice, says the developer considers the revised scheme of 50 houses to have ‘significant benefits’ over the consented scheme.

The benefits listed include a reduction in construction traffic, a supply of seven bungalows and reduced overlooking issues, particularly for the residents of Greatwood Avenue,

Details on the leaflet read: “The house type mix proposed is in line with the latest housing needs assessment and will see the loss of apartments within scheme A. Considering the current Covid crisis there is the desire for family homes each with their own private amenity space. Scheme B ensures high quality private gardens can be provide3d for all residents.”

“Scheme A requires the provision of split-level homes in order to work with the technical challenges. By using the natural terrain and reducing unit numbers we are able to omit the split-level product and provide traditional family homes.

“The reduction in unit numbers inevitably leads to a significantly greater level of open space.”

A spokesman for the developer said there had been a lot of communication since the leaflets were posted and they were currently sifting through the responses.

They added that the 50-bed scheme would still incorporate the 30 per cent of affordable homes - totalling 15.

Keyhaven Homes states it is aware that Scheme B would be considered ‘under-development’ by the district council through covering the same footprint but with fewer homes.

They add: “If you prefer Scheme B and wish for Keyhaven Homes Ltd to progress this then we will need your support.

“Your feedback is extremely important in shaping how this site will be developed.”

Cllr Solloway said: “This will have to go back to planning but I do think it is a better scheme for those who buy the homes because they will be a better quality of house and there will be more living space for people there.”

Cllr Solloway said he had spoken with the developer who had said the topography of the land would make the provision of Scheme A much more difficult and that was the reason behind pursuing a new scheme.

The detailed plans were passed in 2016 ago and the 105-bed scheme is due to start to be built later this year. Skipton Town Council received a windfall of £540,000 from the sale of around a third of the North Parade recreation ground to Keyhaven Homes to create a site access. Cllr Solloway said a reduced scheme could mean a different access may be used.