Knaresborough development of 175 homes heads to committee with planners' backing

The site is proposed on agricultural land off Bar Lane, credit Google Maps
The site is proposed on agricultural land off Bar Lane, credit Google Maps

A ruling on a 175 home development on the edge of Knaresborough is set to be made, with borough council planners recommending the plans be approved.

Harrogate Borough Council's Planning Committee is to rule on whether outline permission should be granted for the development on the 12.2 hectares of agricultural land on Bar Lane, next Tuesday (January, 8).

Developer, Gladman Developments Ltd, has submitted planning documents which show access to the site would be from a T junction with Bar Lane, and that 40 per cent of the properties could be affordable housing.

Knaresborough Town Council challenge outline plans for 175 homes

In a report published prior to the meeting council planners have recommended the application be deferred and approved, subject to the signing of a 106 agreement. This would require financial contributions to be agreed upon before approval is given.

According to the planners, although HBC can currently demonstrate a supply of land for housing to last 5.18 years this amount 'is marginal and it will be important to take steps to maintain it.'

Because of this, government policy, section 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, would still need to be applied. This means permission is granted 'unless any adverse impacts that significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.'

Developer eyes Knaresborough site for 175 new homes

A number of objections have been raised, including the impact to local infrastructure, but council planners have said: "..Significant and demonstrable harm does not exist to outweigh the benefits of development in relation to the issues discussed in the report, the representations and material considerations.

"In accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Officers recommend that members support the application."

HBC in a summary of its findings said the site 'will not have a severe effect on the local highway network,' and that it would 'compromise a visually well contained development adjacent to the built-up area of Knaresborough.'

There have been a total of 28 objections, including Knaresborough Town Council. In a statement, the council included among their concerns the amount of plans for housing being approved in the nearby area.

'Urging HBC to reject the plans,' they wrote: "This development of 175 homes will result in (a) significant increase in traffic volumes on both Halfpenny Lane and Boroughbrdige Road, both of which are congested at peak times. Boroughbridge Road in Knaresborough has seen a significant number of planning applications passed wither by HBC or through the planning appeals process.

"These, along with Manse Farm and Manse Farm extensions on York Road, represent an unprecedented increase in housing numbers in Knaresborough..."

They added: "The cumulative effect of all the recent developments in Knaresborough has not allowed the town to expand its facilities to meet the needs of indigenous, plus new residents due to inhabit the already approved developments. The lack of facilities include: schooling, health provision, shops and play facilities."

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Gladman Developments Ltd declined to comment when approached by the Advertiser.

The site on Bar Lane is not among the supply of housing sites put forward in the district's Draft Local Plan. If approved it will be among a number that could be built on to the north of Knaresborough.

These include:

K21: 78 houses on Land south of Bar Lane and east of Boroughbridge Road (Committed with planning approval granted)

K22: 74 houses on at Land at Orchard Close (Committed with planning approval granted)

K23: 18 homes on land north of Bar Lane and East of Boroughbridge Road

K24: 148 homes on land at Halfpenny Lane and south of Water Lane

K37: 146 homes on land at Boroughbridge Road

The officer's report and application can be viewed here.