Decision to be made on 350 homes flagged for 'significant harm' in Harrogate

350 homes are proposed for Penny Pot Lane
350 homes are proposed for Penny Pot Lane

A refusal recommendation for 350 homes being built on agricultural land in Killinghall is set to be considered at the district planning committee.

Linden Limited and Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd's plans could be turned down on Tuesday (January 30) after Harrogate Borough Council planning officers flagged concerns, including 'significant harm' to Birk Crag and Cardale Wood.

Public objections also currently stand at 27, to one in support. Among them is Chairman of Harrogate Civic Society, Henry Pankhurst, who says the plans could 'desecrate' the almost 40 hectares of countryside.

He said: "This is a plan for almost isolated housing, it would have no buildings on three sides and pushes into the Special Landscape Area. At the same time it is not needed to provided the homes needed that were outlined in the Local Plan.

"So this is an extra use of land at the cost of the countryside for no real benefit."

He added: "This valued countryside could be desecrated in a similar as was faced with the proposed development on Cornwell Road."

Draft Local Plan documents show the site falls within the zone earmarked for the district's Special Landscape Areas. Alongside this 600 homes are planned for the same stretch of road, announced last week as now being undertaken by Persimmon Homes. Mr Pankhurst pointed out that a combined total of nearly 1,000 houses could potentially generate a problematic amount of traffic.

Deputy Leader of HBC, Coun Graham Swift, who lives in the area, plans to speak against the development. He says the homes not only fail to fit into the Draft Local Plan but there is also precedence to refuse the application.

He said: "I think that council and officers have done a lot of work putting together the Local Plan and I am supportive of that, but what a lot of residents can see is that this plan shouldn't be approved.

"The residents of the Duchy Ward and officers have worked over the last two years to defend against land being developed, and going to the planning inspectorate. With this development on Cornwall Road the inspector agreed it should not go ahead. This land is the exact same sort of area."

The developer has declined to comment.