Beverley Town Council Objects to Minster Towers Housing Development
Beverley Town Council has lodged a strong objection against the development of the former Minster Towers care home site on Lord Roberts Road, Beverley.
The Town Council has explained that whilst it appreciates the strategic importance of this site due it being the last major location within the town centre that can be developed, it raises great concerns regarding several elements of the application.
Town Councillors believe that of prime importance are the views of Beverley Minster, which may be damaged by this new development. It wants the senior planning authority, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, to ensure the view is protected for generations to come 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.”
Objections were also raised regarding a reduction in parking spaces available to users of East Riding Theatre and Beverley Target Club, which are already established on the site and will suffer without having either enough parking or loading bays next to them. This is particularly important for the Theatre, as designated bays directly next to the building enable touring productions to load and unload technical and stage equipment. As the design currently stands, the developer has provided no such access, leading the Town Council to ask that East Riding of Yorkshire Council demands the developer works with the Theatre to positively address this matter as a condition of the application.
Another major concern also expressed by Beverley Town Councillors, is the loss of the public toilets on Lord Roberts Road. Councillors felt they been left to believe the sale of the site, which includes to toilets, would see them built on as a vital part of the development. However, when looking at the plans, this is not the case – they are to simply be flattened.
Councillors said: “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.”
The Town Council has therefore requested that ERYC enter into further negotiations with the developer and ask them to give something back to Beverley by refurbishing 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.