Councillors slam plans for 74 houses at Bogs Lane

tis   Potential development land H400 Land South of Bogs Lane.  (110805M3a)
tis Potential development land H400 Land South of Bogs Lane. (110805M3a)

Controversial plans for 74 houses at Bogs Lane Harrogate were shot down by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee.

Councillors voted to refuse planning and blasted the plans for the greenfield site as “premature”, criticising developers for not consulting with the public.

Councillors accused developers, Miller Homes Ltd, of “jumping the gun” for applying to build on land that has not yet been put forward for public consultation, under the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF).

Coun Reg Marsh told the committee: “If we say yes to this then there will be a scramble of developers trying to get applications approved before public consultation.”

Mark Johnson from Dacres developers who represented Miller Homes Ltd explained that two public consultations had been held at Starbeck Methodist Church in 2008 and 2010.

Coun Knight however felt this was not sufficient, she said: “The latest public consultation was held three years ago, and people were against the plans then.”

Harrogate Borough Council’s Local Development Framework plan agreed upon two sites at Bogs Lane as potential site options in a full council meeting in October and are expecting to hold a formal public consultation into the LDF identified sites in Spring 2013.

Coun Jim Clark: “If we approve this then all of the many hours we have put into the local plan will be wasted.”

This is the second time that the council have voted to refuse Miller Ltd planning permission for the site, which sits opposite Henshaws School for the Blind.

In September 2012 plans for 103 houses at the site were refused, this application has gone to appeal and is expected to be considered in March

Planning officer Mr Neville Watson expressed his concern at Harrogate’s lack of five year housing supply in the meeting. He said: “The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is the most recent plan and super cedes the Harrogate District Local Plan which was adopted in 2001.”

In his report to councillors he said: “Although the proposal will impact on the countryside and result in the loss of greenfield site these impacts are not reasons for refusal in light of the NPPF and the district’s lack of five year housing supply.

“There a number of recent appeal cases across the country that demonstrate these impacts will not be sufficient to justify refusal by planning inspectors and the Secretary of State.”

Harrogate Borough Council’s solicitors have advised that the application is not refused and is discussed by the district development committee.

A formal decision will be taken by the district development committee on January 24.