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Major plans for new village near Harrogate are tabled

An artist's impression of part of the architect's new plans for Flaxby Park.
An artist's impression of part of the architect's new plans for Flaxby Park.

Plans to build a new village of almost 3,000 homes on the edge of Harrogate have been finally been submitted to the council after more than 12 months of talks.

Developers behind the proposals for Flaxby Park claim that its transformation of a disused golf course at Flaxby would create a sustainable village community that could support more than 240 full-time construction jobs, up to 659 new employment opportunities in the new village centre and generate in excess of £453.8m for the local economy over 20 years.

The submitted planning application will soon be available to view on Harrogate Borough Council’s website. It details a vision entailing 2,750 high quality homes, a retirement village, two primary schools, a GP surgery, sports facilities, a new village centre and lots of open space.

A new railway link to serve the village has been mooted previously and the planning document includes the proposed reopening of the former Goldsborough railway station to offer direct travel to Leeds and York.

Also outlined in the plans is improved access at the site’s entrance, which the developers say already offers easy access to junction 47 of the A1.

They claim that the development would significantly enhance the attractiveness and viability of Flaxby Green Park, an eco-friendly business park which could support 2,840 jobs and was granted planning permission earlier this year. The business hub would be within easy walking distance of Flaxby Park.

The Flaxby Park site comprises 430 acres. It was bought by Flaxby Park Ltd last year, a concern owned by businesswoman Ann Gloag, who co-founded transport giant Stagecoach, and regeneration professionals Chris Musgrave and Trevor Cartner.

A report by real estate advisor GVA highlights the development’s potential economic benefits, stating that existing businesses in Knaresborough and others at St James Retail Park would benefit from increased footfall.

Chris Musgrave, of Flaxby Park Ltd, said: “As well as creating a standout development to live in, that maximises its parkland setting, a key feature of Flaxby Park has always been about the vast economic benefits it will create.

“These will include supporting more than 240 full-time construction jobs, during the phased 20-year development plan, as part of a substantial investment that is estimated to exceed £400m.

“A key principle of our plan has focussed on transport and Flaxby Park will certainly be a very convenient place to live for anyone working at Flaxby Green Park, as well as complementing the business park’s innovative credentials.

“Our design will also see the reopening of the former Goldsborough Station, alongside a new park and ride scheme, which will greatly enhance public transport provision in the area.

“We’re delighted to have submitted our planning application, which incorporates lots of positive feedback from local people and stakeholders, and follows more than a year of discussions with Harrogate Borough Council.

“The result is a truly exceptional development, in a stunning country park setting, that would bring major economic benefits to the surrounding area for decades to come.”

The council intends to meet a target of building 11,500 new homes in the district by 2035.

PROTEST PLANNED OUTSIDE HALL

Chris Musgrave, one of the men behind the plans for Flaxby Park believes they consist of “the right development in the right place and we are certainly ready to deliver”.

A public consultation run by Harrogate Borough Council now begins and campaigners fighting proposals for another 3,000 homes on greenfield land nearby are sure to have their say.

They will be staging a candle-lit protest on Wednesday outside Harrogate’s Royal Hall where the council will discuss the its draft Local Plan. The plan includes a recommendation to use land between Green Hammerton, Kirk Hammerton and Whixley for thousands of new homes, a notion that is “even more nonsensical” given the proposals for Flaxby, protestors said.