VILLAGERS wanting to have their say about revised plans to build an estate of homes in Gargrave are being warned their earlier comments are unlikely to be taken into account.

A meeting of the parish council heard although the application to build 38 houses off Marton Road was 'practically identical' to one which was refused permission nine months ago, it was being looked at by planning officers as a 'fresh' application.

Councillor Simon Myers, Mid Craven member for North Yorkshire Council, which will decide on the application, said that meant previous comments made by residents were unlikely to be taken into consideration, and people would have to send them in again.

He told yesterday (Wednesday) evening's  meeting that he had asked the council's planning department for the application to be 'called in' and for it to be decided by the council's area planning committee and not by officers under delegated powers, and hoped that the arguments he had put forward would be enough for that to happen.

"People will expect the application to go to committee, and I think that is most important," he said.

The application by R N Wooler and Co to build 38 homes  was verified by North Yorkshire Council in October. An earlier application to build 36 homes on the site by the builder was refused permission by the former Craven District Council in January this year - some 12 months after the application was originally submitted.

The scheme - proposed for land earmarked for housing in the Gargrave Neighbourhood Plan and the Craven Local Plan - generated around 450 responses from the public, the majority of which were in opposition, with residents pointing to a lack of footpaths on Marton Road, parking issues, and an overloaded sewage system.

The original scheme was turned down in January on three grounds - that it failed to provide a suitable density and mix of housing, for reasons of design, and because the builder had failed to provide enough information about flooding and drainage.

The new application seeks to address the reasons for refusal, has increased the density of housing, has included 11 affordable properties, upped the number of two-bed homes and reduced the number of four-bedroom properties.

It has also submitted a revised drainage strategy and a transport statement that concludes there is no evidence that the 'piecemeal' nature of footpaths on Marton Road will lead to any issues with highways safety.

Submissions with the planning application also refer to energy efficient lighting. electric car charging, underfloor heating, water butts, cycle storage, bat and bird boxes and 'possible' solar panels.

A planning statement with the application says that the scheme will 'sustainably support the range of housing needs of residents across the local area', and that changes have been made following 'positive' discussions with planning officers.

The new application has already generated 55 public comments on the council's website, including 11 in support.

Councillors at the meeting of the parish council voiced their opposition to the plans and agreed to form a working party of two members to collate the council's response, concentrating on the same areas that the previous application was turned down.

Council chair, Stephen Coetzer referred to the amount of traffic using Marton Road - some 160 per day in each direction; and questioned what affordable meant - saying it was more likely that residents of the new homes were unlikely to be locals, but people commuting to Bradford, Leeds and Manchester.

"These houses will be totally unaffordable for people in North Yorkshire and does not meet the needs of the ageing population of Gargrave, " he said.

Concern was also raised about flooding and a proposed 'indicative' pedestrian access onto Marton Road.

Cllr Karen Hunter added it was a 'huge' development for a village the size of Gargrave. "We will end up with lots of satellite developments if we are not careful, with this 'olde worlde' village in the middle," she said.