Former BT site approved for new homes

Coun John Ennis, Coun Pat Jones, Olivia Graham and Jane Hill with residents of St Georges Walk.
Coun John Ennis, Coun Pat Jones, Olivia Graham and Jane Hill with residents of St Georges Walk.

Plans to build 88 new homes on the site of the old British Telecom Training Centre have been given the go-ahead, despite over 140 objections submitted by residents.

The planning application was deferred by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee in October to allow time for the consideration of a second access point to serve the development.

Residents objected to the single point of access originally proposed through St Georges Walk onto St Georges Road and West Avenue, raising concerns about the impact that an increase in traffic would have on the safety of schoolchildren in the area.

The revised plans include a shared access between St Georges Walk and Redfern Mews.

Jane Hill, a resident of St Georges Walk, said: “To hear Planning Committee members say that the replacement of the current BT Training Centre with a development of 88 houses will have a neutral effect on traffic on St Georges Walk is nonsense. Residents estimate that at least 250 vehicles will drive through St Georges Walk on a daily basis.

“We feel angry and shocked that this decision has been made without taking into account alternative accesses on the south western side of the development, including Rossett Avenue and Rossett Drive.

Coun John Mann, Chair of Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee, said: “I believe that a suitable solution has been found.

“North Yorkshire County Council as the Highways Authority assessed the revised access arrangements and was satisfied that they were acceptable in terms of impact on highway safety and the local road network. The planning officer’s report to Planning Committee on December 6 also fully outlined other considerations including representations received from members of the public about the scheme.”

Stephen Courcier, Associate at Carter Jonas, who are the planning consultants on the project, said: “The new residential development is a good example of how brownfield land can be redeveloped to deliver much needed new housing that will meet demand in a sought-after area of Harrogate.

"We have worked closely with Telereal Trillium to ensure the contemporary design is sympathetic to the surrounding neighbourhood and we are pleased to be delivering a significant amount of new public space that everyone can enjoy.”

The development will comprise of homes ranging from one bedroom to five, a percentage of which are agreed to be affordable housing.