Please contact us if you have concerns about any planning application. Recent responses from Whtiby Civic Society's Planning Group to Scarborough Borough Council include:

 Planning Application 20/01483/FL William Hill Bookmakers 8 New Quay Road Whitby North Yorkshire YO21 1DH

  • Change of use of betting shop (Sui Generis) to a Bingo Hall (Use Class D2)

Whitby Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds that it contradicts Scarborough Borough Council's policies for amusement centres and bingo halls. The applicant is essentially proposing an amusement centre with slot machines, bingo machines, and a bingo hall. Policy TOU5 of the Council's Local Plan states clearly that amusement centres will be confined to specified areas; in Whitby's case this is sited along Pier Road.

If the applicant is asking that the development be treated as an adult gaming centre, then Policy TOU5 states that sessional bingo will not be allowed in an adult amusement centre; moreover, an adult gaming centre is only to be offered in a closed environment,and not in a development of the kind proposed here. Moreover an adult gaming centre seems inappropriate within the Conservation Area, and is incompatible with the authority's statutory duty of maintaining and improving the character and appearance of that Area.
We also note that the opening hours are excessively long and will lead to overcrowding and excessive noise in an area which already attracts lengthy queues to enter pubs and food outlets, and which is already an acknowledged centre of anti-social behaviour.
Finally, we were surprised that the application appears not to provide a female toilet.

Planning Application 20/01604/FL Former Universal Garage Silver Street Whitby North Yorkshire YO21 3BU

  •  Use of site as temporary car park for 48 vehicles

Whitby Civic Society understands that this is basically an application to extend the current arrangement. We believe that there is a need for some adjustments to take account of changes since the car park was previously approve.

In recent years there have been increasing prpoblem,s with traffic along Silver Street, which is a narrow two-way thoroughfare. The problems have intensified in 2020 as a reult of increased footfall among staycation visitors, and the prevalence of queuing outside the food outlets in the street. We note that the Borough Council's Local Plan requires applicants for parking facilities "to demonstrate that there are safe access and servicing arrangements for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians". Guidance from NYCC Highways must be sought which takes account of these changes and minimises the risks.

In addition, we would welcome a commitment from the applicant to improve the appearance of the park, which should reflect the fact that it is situated in Whitby's historic Conservation Area.

Planning Application 20/01503/FL 12 Flowergate Whitby North Yorkshire YO21 3BA

  • Conversion of part of ground floor shop (A1) and erection of first floor extension to provide 2no. flats to rear with external staircase and walkways to provide access to the existing and proposed first floor flats.

Whitby Civic Society wishes to object to the application as it currently stands. The premises are listed as part of a group from 9-12 Flowergate in the Conservation Area, and the alteration will be visible from the harbour. This does not seem compatible with the statutory obligation on the authority to permit developments only where they help maintain and enhance the character and appearance of the area.

We would like the authority to follow the recommendations of its conservation officer (as suggested in Historic England's letter) on the scale of the changes and the use of traditional style materials. We also note the negative impact of the proposal on the immediate neighbours.

Planning Application 20/00967/RG4 Land South Of Whitby Abbey Abbey Lane Whitby

  • Change of use, alteration and extension of agricultural buildings to form distillery (B2) and visitors centre (D1), formation of new access track, gates and hardstanding areas for pedestrian and vehicular access

The application concerns a historically sensitive piece of land forming part of the immediate environs of Whitby Abbey. We were pleased to see that the applicant has discussed the proposal with Historic Engand and with the local authority's Conservation Officer. The applicant also approached the Civic Society to seek our views.
The existing buildings are in poor condition and the proposal involves changes that we view as welcome and indeed desirable; they will help improve the look of the area, and will provide a long-term home for a successful local employer. We believe that the proposed change of use is appropriate and the associated facilities will add to the attractiveness of this part of Whitby for visitors and local people.
We note the reservations expressed by Historic England, and accept the case they make for an archaeological evaluation before permission can be granted. We similarly accept the proposal from the County Principal Archaeologist. We hope that this can be resolved satisfactorily.
We also have two rather less pressing concerns, first over the impact of the access road on pedestrian traffic and second over the proposals for drainage; we will explore these directly with the applicant. There will also need to be further discussions over accessibility for people with disabilities.

Planning Application 20/00968/LB Land South Of Whitby Abbey Abbey Lane Whitby 

  • Internal and external alterations and extensions to existing curtilage listed barns

The application concerns a historically sensitive piece of land forming part of the immediate environs of Whitby Abbey. We were pleased to see that the applicant has discussed the proposal with Historic Engand and with the local authority's Conservation Officer. The applicant also approached the Civic Society to seek our views.
The existing buildings are in poor condition and the proposal involves changes that we view as welcome and indeed desirable; they will help improve the look of the area, and will provide a long-term home for a successful local employer.
We note the reservations expressed by Historic England, and accept the case they make for an archaeological evaluation before permission can be granted. We hope that this can be resolved satisfactorily.
We also have two rather less pressing concerns, first over the impact of the access road on pedestrian traffic and second over the proposals for drainage; we will explore these directly with the applicant. There will also need to be further discussions over accessibility for people with disabilities.

 Planning Application 20/01045/HS Flat 2 30 Flowergate Whitby

  • Replacement windows in upvc

 The property is within the Conservation Area, and the authority is therefore under a statutory obligation to ensure that development should help maintain and enhance the appearance and character of the surroundings. While we support the proposal, we strongly recommend that permission be granted subject to a condition that the windows be in a suitable heritage style.

Planning Application 19/02865/FL Middle Earth Tavern, Church Street

  • Installation of glazed balcony and replacement of two windows with doors at first floor. Installation of removable railings and decking to courtyard at ground floor level, all to front elevation.

Whitby Civic Society objects to this application. This listed pair of buildings is in the Conservation Area, and the Planning Authority is therefore required to ensure that it meets the aim of preserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the area. Much of the application seems substantially same as 19/00246/LB, which the planning authority rejected on the grounds that the balcony would harm the appearance of the building, while the proposed doors and windows would be inconsistent with the rest of the building. These problems also characterise the present application; glazed guarding is not in character with the area; the proposed first floor windows, judging by the proposed front elevations, are not in keeping with the rest of the building. In addition, the plans now include a parking space which appears to be on the public pavement; this would set a worrying precedent for other properties if permitted. In addition, the parking space is hard up against a wall and appears to block a fire escape, and has insufficient space to download a wheelchair; we cannot find any proposal for disabled access to the balcony.

Planning Application 20/00747/LB 21 St Hildas Terrace

  • Retention of existing car park, subject to a 3m reduction in length. Provision of bin store.

Whitby Civic Society wishes to object strongly to this application. While a reduction in length is an improvement, the extension of the car park is unacceptable. The authority, in its original decision to permit the car park, imposed conditions that were intended to "conserve the setting of this listed building and the townscape character of St Hilda's Terrace". Subsequent expansion of the car park appears to have been undertaken without permission, and without action by the Planning Authority, despite the fact that the Authority is required by statute to act in such a way as to preserve and enhance the appearance and character of the Conservation Area. This is an iconic elegant Georgian terrace; the extended car park is highly visible from the street and from Pannett Park, and detracts from the townscape. Furthermore the energy meters ranged across the edge of the car park are an eyesore, and there is no current proposal to screen the bin store. Finally, if approved, this development would set a worrying precedent for similar developments elsewhere on this historic terrace.
We were surprised and disapppionted to see that the Authority proposes to treat this as a delegated decision. Given the gravity of this case, we believe it should be considered by the elected members.

Planning Application 20/00514/LB 21 St Hildas Terrace

  • Retrospective terracing and external works to garden of Flat 1 21 St Hilda's Terrace including walls and planting areas

This property is a Grade II* Listed Building, fronted by a separately listed Grade II brick wall. It is well within the boundary of Whitby Conservation Area. It is currently under an Article 4 constraint requiring 'No alteration to external appearance or the property without the permission of the Local Planning Authority'. It sits in the middle of an iconic terrace of attractive Georgian houses that is visible from the street as well as from Pannett Park, and represents a significant heritage asset.

We objected strongly to the previous applications concerning the walls, and were very surprised to see our comments reported to the planning committee as comprising 'positive and negative comments'. We therefore reiterate our judgement that the proposed wall is far too high, and we repeat our view that it should be reduced by ten courses. At its proposed height the wall will be out of keeping with the building and with the remainder of the Terrace, and accordingly will harm rather than enhance the character and appearance of this part of Whitby Conservation Area.

We note that this is not the view of the developer's heritage consultant. Her report claims that the wall 'minimises impact and maximises enhancement', but she provides no evidence for enhancement, and we have seen no engineering evidence that supports the claim that a wall of this height is required. She states that the wall 'is considered necessary' but does not say who has made this judgement or on what basis. She does not address the fact that the wall is clearly visible from the street, and thus disrupts this iconic streetscape.
While we are aware that there is some risk of being misinterpreted as somehow supporting theapplication, we have no objection to the use of reclaimed brick, and we are broadly satisfied with the planting approach proposed.
We are amazed that the planning authority should be asked yet again to approve the works that the developer has already carried out. We have objected to previous applications relating to the unauthorised wall; these have either been withdrawn or refused. Further, the application should not be considered in isolation; the only justification for the wall so far presented appears to be that it is required because of the car park, which was itself extended without planning permission. Although this application does not relate to the car park, the unauthorised wall and the unauthorised extension are clearly linked.
Currently, a fine building has the appearance of a semi-derelict building site, thanks to two sets of unauthorised works. This situation has now dragged on since 2015, and we are deeply disappointed in the authority's inability or unwillingness to protect such an important heritage asset. We now find ourselves forced to question whether the authority has the capacity or will to carry out its statutory duty of preserving and enhancing such an important element of the Conservation Area.

Planning Application 20/00764/AA Cex 61 Baxtergate

  • 1no fascia and 1no projecting sign

Whitby Civic Society wishes to object to this application. The building is Grade II listed and is sited in the heart of Whitby Conservation Area, placing the authority under a statutory obligation to protect and enhance the character and appearance of the street. The applicant has chosen not to comply with the recommendations for heritage colours given in the Conservation Area Management Plan, so that the proposed colour scheme is out of character with the area and runs counter to the Authority's Management Policies 7 and 8. The applicant's case appears to be based solely on claims about the market situation, which is unsupported by evidence and anyway is not a material planning consideration. We agree with the applicant that some other premises on Baxtergate have used non-heritage colours, and the authority is of course under an obligation to consider this in any future planning application affecting premises whose fascia are out of character.