Proposals for 410-house estate could ‘destroy’ rural retreat

Sarah Wilby, Denise Slights, Criag Wilby, Lewis Wilby 8, Sophia Wilby 9
  The Development would have a major impact on the family business
Sarah Wilby, Denise Slights, Criag Wilby, Lewis Wilby 8, Sophia Wilby 9 The Development would have a major impact on the family business

A Pocklington-based business has spoken out against a proposed development which could see 410 houses built on their doorstep.

Willow Waters Fishery has been operating as a rural holiday venue for 22 years but now owners fear that the proposed build could “destroy” the family-run business. The proposal could see 410 houses built on land east of The Balk, which is situtated close to the rural retreat.

Craig Wilby Pictured with the proposed development site in the background

Craig Wilby Pictured with the proposed development site in the background

Craig Wilby, one of the owners, said: “It is a huge development, we are a rural retreat where people come and enjoy the peace and the wildlife.

“I think Pocklington has just had enough of houses being built.

“It is becoming a commuter town, we are right next to the 1079 which will take people straight into York orHull and it’s destroying what Pocklington was.

“We are a long running businessand we bring hundreds of people into the town every year. A build like this could destroy us.”

More than 800 visitors stay at the treat every year and their customers regularily use te facilities bringing money into the local economy.

Craig’s wife, Sarah Wilby, said: “We are a small rural retreat offering holiday accommodation with fishing. We have been conscious, over the years, not to over develop the site.

“Our key attraction is our peaceful rural setting. We are a haven for many species of wildlife.

“We strongly feel that this proposed development by Gladman Developments to farmland to the East of The Balk will have a serious consequence to the future of our business. We have seen and accepted other developments which have brought Pocklington nearer to our site.

“It is in our opinion that Pocklington has reached its capacity and well full filled a need for additional housing. Further housing would not benefit Pocklington but rather have adverse effects on the infrastructure and character.”

Willow Waters has been owned by their family since the 1980s and three generations live and work there.

Craig appeared on Come Dine with me earlier this year, winning the £1,000 prize which he donated to charity. One of the aspects he said helped him win the competition was his rural surroundings.

Mayor of Pocklington, Cllr David Sykes spoke to the Post last week to express his concerns about the number of houses that could be built.

The proposals for the 410 house development would also incude allotments, a skate park and a children’s play area.

A spokesperson for Gladmans Developments has said a public consultation is currently underway which will be considered before a planning application is submitted.

For futher details on proposals and to have your say as part of the consultation visit www.your-views.co.uk/pocklington