45 acre derelict site to be transformed into retirement village

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More details have been revealed about plans for the development of a former mushroom farm near Selby.

Gateforth Park, a derelict 45 acre site near Selby, has been acquired by York House Leisure, which runs award-winning retirement and holiday parks across Yorkshire and Scotland. The site was previously used as an intensive mushroom farm and in recent years has been targeted by vandals and arsonists, but now has plans to be transformed into "an environmentally-friendly retirement village".

In its planning application submitted to Selby District Council, York House Leisure proposes to redevelop the site into a retirement village encompassing 168 low cost residential park homes, a community building comprising a reception, shop and meeting area, and a village green and public and private amenity space. The environmentally-friendly parkland site will include water features, lakes, onsite recycling of the derelict area and steps taken to improve biodiversity around the site.

The application also highlights other benefits including the creation of local jobs, services and investment, and co-director Phil Brierley said the company had a history of producing sites which had been praised for their environmental sustainability. “Significant investment in our parks over recent years has been recognised with accolades from both the English Tourist Board and Professor David Bellamy; the feedback that we have received from current owners has also been excellent. We are excited at the prospect of applying the same principles to our proposed development at Gateforth Park.”

Tim Brierley, a director at YHL, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our plans for Gateforth Park have been formalised. This is a sustainable site with good pedestrian access to the village facilities at Thorpe Willoughby. As a retirement centre, traffic from the site will be minimal when compared to the previous operation of the mushroom farm.”

Christopher Harrison, an agricultural and land estates partner with Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP, led the legal team that advised Boroughbridge-based York House Leisure on its acquisition. Mr Harrison said: "It has been a pleasure to act for York House Leisure on what proved to be a challenging transaction. We wish them every success with the development, which I believe will see a complete transformation of an unloved site into a 21st century retirement village with community, biodiversity and the environment at its heart."