Plans for 103 homes on a field off Bogs Lane in Starbeck have been unanimously rejected by councillors – but the site could still be built on.
Members accused developer Miller Homes of “jumping the gun” with its proposals, as the council is still consulting over whether the location is suitable for homes, as part of the LDF, its long-term housing plan.
At last Thursday’s planning meeting, Coun Jim Clark asked the developer: “Why are you bringing this to us now? In the LDF, it is a preferred option. Why are you not allowing this democratic process to take place?”
Coun Pat Marsh said Miller Homes were “jumping the gun”, while Coun Reg Marsh added: “For any developer to come forward with a plan for 103 homes on a semi-rural location, they are trying it on. It’s obscene.”
The agent, Dacre, Son & Hartley Commercial, said it was disappointed that council planners had not met with them to fine-tune the project.
Harrogate Council is considering the possibility of 74 homes on the site. Miller Homes wanted to build 103, and install traffic lights at the Bogs Lane end junction with Kingsley Road.
Mr Waud from Starbeck Residents’ Association said the plans were “ridiculous”.
“The development would create an urban-type environment and would not in any way make a positive contribution to the area,” he said. “The houses are too close and they are too tall. The traffic generated would seriously impact on the area and be detrimental to road safety.”
He added that a Harrogate Council study in 1998 said extra housing on Bogs Lane would lead to road safety problems.
Coun Philip Broadbank, who represents Starbeck, spoke against the proposals, but acknowledged that the site may need to be considered for development in the future. “If you are going to develop part of the town, there’s got to be proper infrastructure,” he added.
A spokesman for Miller Homes said it had been considering the proposals “for a number of years” and this was “the right time to submit”.