DEVELOPERS behind approved residential plans for a site on a town's outskirts will have to stick to agreed affordable housing numbers.

The exact number of houses for the site, between White Hills Lane and Raikes Road, Skipton, has yet to be agreed - although indicative plans show around 50 - 20 of which would have to be affordable.

But, following discussions with residents and Skipton Town Council, developers R N Wooler are now looking at building 36 mainly "executive" homes and a few affordable homes on the site - with the remaining affordables built elsewhere.

At the latest planning committee meeting of Craven District Council, Gary Wooler said it had been a controversial development and that discussions had taken place with Tarn Moor Trustees, owners of the site, residents and the town council.

He said the clear message was for fewer houses on the site - and that this could be achieved by building 36, including six affordable on the site, with the remaining affordable element built elsewhere in the town.

Mr Wooler added it was not about creating an exclusive development, but he urged the committee to listen to the support it had received from the town council and residents.

The meeting also heard from a spokeswoman for residents, who said although people had been against the development at the start, they had accepted outline planning permission had been given and wanted to work to get the best possible outcome.

She said the larger, executive style of housing was more "in keeping" with the surrounding area.

But councillors, who were recommended to refuse the application, were told details as to where the remaining number of affordable housing could be built was not forthcoming and that an alternative - possibly green field site - would have to be found.

Skipton councillor John Kerwin-Davey (Ind) proposed accepting changes to the affordable housing conditions, adding that the committee had the opportunity to meet the aspirations of the community without any detrimental effect.

But Cllr Alan Sutcliffe (Cons) said the council policy of 40 per cent affordable housing on sites should be adhered to.

"Saying they can build eight houses off site is ridiculous - what if they don't own another site? They should be prepared to build 40 per cent affordable, whether they build 50 or 30."

And committee chairman Cllr Richard Welch (Cons) said he did not agree with "social engineering" and warned that agreeing to changing the affordable housing element could set a precedent.