Plans for 600 houses on Penny Pot Lane have been refused by Harrogate councillors saying the town’s roads simply ‘could not cope’ with the development.
The controversial plans submitted by Persimmon Homes were deferred by the council planning committee in January, with councillors hoping an additional access point to the site would be added to sketches. However a near-identical plan was resubmitted before the committee on Tuesday this week and refused by 10 votes to seven.
Coun Greta Knight (Lib Dem, Woodfield) said: “For the last four months we have seen so many other developments and for the past few months they have been successful because we have been warned about them going to appeal and the costs.
“It is time we stuck up for residents; it is time the council got a backbone.”
Catherine Wright, chair of Queen Ethelburgas Residents Action Group, told the committee: “This application should be refused because of poor access. In this respect, nothing has changed: it is still a 600 house cul-de-sac. The traffic is already chaotic around there.”
After the meeting she said: “I feel very pleased. The councillors have backed the residents with this.”
Traffic concerns dominated the debate which lasted over an hour.
Coun Knight asked council planners, who had recommended the plans be approved: “Do you actually go out and drive around Harrogate?
“People who drive in Harrogate know very well that the roads are at capacity.”
A preliminary plan showed the developer would have been expected to contribute at least £66,000 for improvement works to the Parliament Street junction with Ripon Road and Kings Road.
Coun Ian Galloway (Con, Bishop Monkton) said the district’s infrastrucutre needed significantly more investment, adding: “It is a disgrace.”
The plan will have to go before the council’s planning referral commitee in the next few weeks before the refusal is confirmed.
Coun Don Mackenzie (Con, Saltergate) said: “Clearly, this is not the end of this matter.”