With the news that the Grovehill Site is going back onto the market in the summer, Labour Party candidates for the Minster North ward of Beverley Town Council have expressed their views on the development and echoed local concerns about the matter.
The site has gone back on the market after Sainsbury’s plan to use the site for a superstore collapsed, as did an alternative plan for eight shops, restaurants and a pub.
Peter Astell, who is seeking re-election, said;
“I have long expressed a view that a mixed development is appropriate for the Grovehill Site. The site is a fantastic opportunity for Beverley Town Council, East Riding Council and local residents to work together in favour of a development that benefits everyone in Beverley, more than a purely retail development could do.”
Labour councillors on Beverley Town Council has long supported the Grovehill site being used for a mixed development. Between 2011 and 2015, Labour councillors have campaigned on the matter and candidates intend to, if elected, continue during the next term.
The Labour Party continues to support resident’s demands to be involved with the development plans. East Riding Councillors, after the election, should sit down with residents and other concerned bodies to get a better understanding about how the development’s benefits could be maximised.
Ben Cooper, the youngest candidate for Beverley Town Council, argues that a mixed development could provide plenty of opportunities for young people:
“Encouraging an enterprise park could provide job opportunities and apprenticeships for young people that allow skills and career prospects to develop. East Riding Council should work with local colleges and businesses to ensure that any development maximises these opportunities.”
Jackie Heffer argued that the site should also, as part of a mixed development, contain social housing. There is a great need for social housing as around 6,000 households are on the waiting list.
“Not enough affordable and social housing is being built in Beverley and the East Riding. A moderate social housing development would improve matters. But it is vital that concerns about the overdevelopment of Beverley are listened to.”
She continued: “It is absolutely essential that East Riding Council works with local residents and allow the community to have an input into how the site is developed. This engagement must be at every stage at the development and not just after East Riding Council has indicated its preferred developer.”
Residents are concerned about the effect that a development could have on the natural assets that were created by the site being abandoned. Any development, the Labour Party candidates argue, has to be receptive to these concerns and maintain some aspect of the site as a natural protective barrier.
Ben Cooper reiterated Labour Party candidates’ desire for East Riding Council to involve all concerned groups about the development as early as possible. He said:
“East Riding Council’s record of involving residents in their decisions is poor and I hope that a new administration after May 7th will engage and listen to residents. The site has great potential to bring huge benefits to the people of Beverley, but it must be used wisely and in a way that is sensitive to the demands of Beverley for affordable housing, high-quality apprenticeships and green spaces.”