LAST week's flooding was fresh in the memories of Craven councillors as they debated controversial plans for the Wyvern Park housing and industrial development in Skipton on Tuesday.

Despite reassurances from their professional officers measures to tackle high water hell would have to be agreed before detailed plans were approved, concerns were raised about floodwaters being pushed towards nearby Sandylands Sports Centre.

Other concerns included the impact of hundreds more cars on roads in the area and pressure on schools.

Skipton Town Council had argued the negatives did not outweigh the positives and the land should be used solely for employment purposes.

The reality is that without the proposed housing, the scheme would not be viable.

So, after much debate, Craven's planning committee decided the industrial, warehouse and office element was much-needed, even if it came with an anticipated 225 new homes, and approved the application in principle.

Ben Ward, from developer Henry Boot, told the planning meeting the company was committed to the site, but he made it clear it could not be entirely employment. The original supermarket plan had been turned down last year amid fears it would have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre, so the company had returned with the other high-value land use – housing.

The scheme is now due to return to planners next year when the finer details will hammered out, with a possible start date of later in 2016.

There is no doubt this is a massive development for Skipton on the last piece of available employment land, and it is up to councillors to ensure stringent conditions are drawn up to address local concerns.

There could also be a second phase to the development, but the meeting was told that would be subject to successful completion of the flood alleviation scheme.