Beverley Town Council is strongly opposed to the development of the former Minster Towers care home site on Lord Roberts Road.
According to the Town Council, while it appreciates the strategic importance of this site as the last major development site within the town centre, it is concerned about several elements of the proposal.
This new development may damage the views of Beverley Minster, which are of prime importance to town councillors. East Riding of Yorkshire Council should ensure the view is preserved for future generations and, where possible, enhanced.
Regarding the actual design of the proposed houses, the Town Council said:
“The design, layout and scope of the project should echo and reflect the town in which it is being developed, taking the historic context into greater consideration. As it currently stands, the main body of the application is for unremarkable cul-de-sacs of generically designed houses that are more suited to out-of-town developments. This is not a suitable design to reflect the historic nature of nearby streets and buildings or enhance views of the Minster.”
Also raised were concerns about a reduction in parking spaces for East Riding Theatre and Beverley Target Club, which are already on site and will suffer without sufficient parking or loading bays.
This is especially important for the Theatre since designated bays directly adjacent to the building facilitate the loading and unloading of technical and stage equipment.
Currently, the developer has not provided such access, leading the Town Council to ask East Riding of Yorkshire Council to make it a condition of the application that the developer work with the Theatre to resolve this issue.
Beverley Town Councillors are also concerned about the loss of public toilets on Lord Roberts Road. In their opinion, councillors were misled into believing that the sale of the site, which includes two toilets, would result in their construction as part of the development. According to the plans, they are simply to be flattened – this is not the case.
“ERYC claims there is adequate provision at the Railway Station, Dyer Lane and Bus Station, with the toilets at the Treasure House effectively replacing the ones on Lord Roberts Road. The Town Council refutes this assumption. The Lord Roberts Road toilets are located in a very busy section of the town and are between the retail areas of Butcher Row / Wednesday Market and areas of tourism and heritage such as Beverley Minster and The Friary. It is not acceptable for ERYC to simply say people should walk another 5 to 20 minutes to get to the next nearest public convenience. In addition, the Treasure House is closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays and for half the week is open for less hours than the toilets currently are. Therefore, the Treasure House can clearly not cover the loss of these facilities.”
Therefore, the Town Council has requested that ERYC negotiate further with the developer and ask them to refurbish the current toilets to modern standards as a condition of the application.
Councillors added: “Too often parts of Beverley’s heritage are sold off to developers, with little seemingly to go back to the community. Someone is making a lot of money from this project and to give something back in this way would be appropriate compensation.”
Beverley Town Councillors ended their objection by highlighting that there are many other objections which have been clearly and eloquently expressed by residents and other organisations.
Councillors concluded by saying:
“We urge ERYC to listen to all of these concerns and take heed of them. This is a unique opportunity to develop a site that embraces and supports the cultural amenities around it, where houses that are truly something special could be built, with integrated public spaces and facilities the wider community can enjoy, whilst the views of Beverley Minster should be preserved and where possible enhanced. There is only one chance to get this development right and if not done so it will be of huge detriment to Beverley for decades to come.”
The planning application itself can be found on East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s website via the Public Access section: https://newplanningaccess.eastriding.gov.uk/newplanningaccess/ and the application number is 22/03203/PLF.
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