Harrogate council approves its own development application amid Parish protests

The site of the development at Darley. Picture: Harrogate Borough Council
The site of the development at Darley. Picture: Harrogate Borough Council

The building of three new affordable homes in a quiet Darley cul de sac has been approved, despite protests from the local parish council.

The application by Harrogate Borough Council's housing and property arm was approved by the planning committee, with 19 garages to be demolished to make way for the new build of three two-bedroom dwellings on Valley Road.

However, it faced stiff opposition from local representatives, who argued it would add further congestion to the tiny dead-end street, as well as removing valuable parking and storage space in the garages.

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The local ward ward member, borough Councillor Tom Watson, told the committee that the development would be a "big issue" for residents on the road, with delivery of building material and workers vehicles a concern during building.

Coun Susan Welch, the chairman of Darley and Manwith Parish Council, added it was a "slightly difficult" application for the council, given the need for affordable housing around the village.

"We do need affordable housing in the area, however the parish council does not think this is a suitable site for it," she said.

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She said vehicles parked on the street had already reduced it effectively to a "single track road" which was worse on evenings and weekends.

The borough council's housing development team said in response that efforts would be made to keep inconvenience to a minimum during construction.

In debate, Coun Bernard Bateman said: "It seems to be a situation of garages versus two storey houses".

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“Garages don't equal two bedroom houses that are put on that site, that's why I'm proposing it," he added in favour of the development. .

Coun Nigel Simms said the garages weren't used enough to justify rejecting the proposal, but added that he wanted council to stay in regular communication with the users ahead of the demolition.

"Half the garages are certainly not used on a regular basis...it’s whether you have a garage block or have three dwellings,” he said.

“It is with reluctance I agree to the loss of garages and the parking spaces but I would like our housing office to minimise the impact of people losing storage, because we're basically throwing them out on the street.”

The application was subsequently approved unanimously.