PLOTS on a housing development in Skipton are being reserved by hopeful homeowners despite planning approval for the latest plans being turned down and an appeal waiting to be lodged.

Mandale Homes was given outline permission for up to 20 homes on a site near Niffany bends, north west of Clay Hall, in Broughton Road, in 2016. But back in May a further plan sought permission to build 42 houses.

The application was to include a mix of one, two, three and four-bed houses, including 13 affordable, with access onto Broughton Road.

Craven District Council planning committee members were recommended by officers to approve the plan despite it being double the size of that already permitted but it was rejected by eight votes to one citing grounds of overdevelopment, visual impact and the lack of a ‘proper’ traffic survey.

The applicant’s agent, David Marjoram of ELG Planning, said they would appeal the decision.

In the meantime, Mr Marjoram said Mandale Homes was displaying the proposed homes though prospective buyers were aware planning permission had not yet been secured.

He said: “The properties are on a coming soon page whilst our client waits for the appeal decision. We are aware it is impossible to legally sell a house without planning consent.

“Our client had such huge levels of interest in the development that they took a number of ‘early bird reservations’. However, these are not contracted sales. This is basically where people put a refundable deposit down against a plot and then when the planning is granted they are converted into sales.

“All of our client’s customers knew they were awaiting a decision on planning, and almost all of them have asked our client to keep their names against the plot they wanted until a decision on the appeal has been made.

“He added: “We are still awaiting the formal decision notice refusing the application to confirm, absolutely, the reasons for refusal.

“We have been asking the council for this since May 18 (the day after the planning committee met) and have raised a formal (stage 1) complaint over this delay and other matters.

“Once the decision notice is received the appeal will follow shortly thereafter.”

Mr Marjoram added that the principle of development there had been established and it was allocated for housing in the local plan.

It had been previously approved in outline, although now expired, the meeting was told, and worked out at 33 homes per hectare - which was within the Government guidelines of a minimum of 30 per hectare.

Planning committee member Cllr Alan Sutcliffe described the site as ‘colossal overdevelopment’. The council has been approached for a comment.