Anger as plan for 210 homes on Harrogate and Wetherby border is put into 'special measures' despite opposition

Plans to build 210 homes on the border of Harrogate and Wetherby have been taken into 'special measures'. (Library picture)
Plans to build 210 homes on the border of Harrogate and Wetherby have been taken into 'special measures'. (Library picture)

Councillors and residents were left outraged when a contentious development for 210 homes on the border of Harrogate and Wetherby was deferred to be held in exempt session.

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At the planning committee meeting today (August 14) 11 out of 13 councillors voted to refuse the application by Hallam Land Management for the field just off Harrogate Road.

But following the decision Harrogate Borough Council's legal officer said that the report would have to be placed in 'special measures' and that the meeting would have to be deferred and held in 'exempt session'.

Councillor Jim Clark (Harlow ward) had voted to refuse the application. He said: "It's bureaucracy over democracy, it is absolutely ridiculous."

The application had received 286 objections since it was submitted to the council, with the majority of those representations made by residents in Wetherby and Leeds.

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During the meeting, the committee heard representations from Wetherby Ward Councillor, Alan Lamb, Wetherby Mayor Councillor Galan Moss and residents.

All four speakers raised serious concerns about pressures on the health amenities such as GPs and dentists in Wetherby which were described as "suffering a lack of investment" as well as growing traffic issues.

However Harrogate Borough Councillors, Jim Clark and Bernard Bateman noted serious concerns about pressures on education in Harrogate if the development was to go ahead.

Councillors were told that as part of the application North Yorkshire County Council had agreed to find educational provision for two thirds of school students who will live within the development.

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The other third would have provision by Leeds City Council.

Coun Clark said: "It absolutely beggars belief - we are bussing secondary school pupils across Harrogate from Wetherby."