New sites approved for potential social housing developments around Harrogate

Eight new sites can now be developed upon following a decision by cabinet member Mike Chambers.
Eight new sites can now be developed upon following a decision by cabinet member Mike Chambers.

Eight new sites will be added to Harrogate Borough Council's list for potential development, with an eye on building up to 26 social housing dwellings.

Plans to add the sites to the Housing Revenue Account and progress with three planning applications will go ahead after gaining approval from cabinet member for housing and safer communities Coun Mike Chambers.

Coun Chambers said the move was"good news" for the council's housing program.

"Importantly, it's social housing which allows us a further opportunity to give much needed accommodation to those who need it," he said.

"Antyhing we can do to increase our housing stock helps meet the needs of the people who require it."

The ward member for Ripon Spa said the eight sites were all brownfield - mostly old garage sites - which would now be better utilised for the housing developments.

He added that the repurposing of brownfield areas was a "useful" way to utilise the land.

"We do have a struggle finding land to build on, so this is a good way of moving our housing program forward," he said.

A council report on the matter states that the proposed sites would provide one, two and three bedroom social rented homes, which were in high demand judging by council's tenant waiting list.

The new sites and their potential yield include:

Crowgarth, Skelton on Ure - four semi-detached houses

Grove House, Harrogate Road, Ripon - four semi-detached houses

Gunbank, Masham - two semi-detached houses

North Road, Ripon - two semi-detached houses and three terraced houses

Sycamore Road, Ripon - two semi-detached houses

Church Close, Sharow - two semi-detached houses

Dene Park, Harrogate - eight self-contained apartments and six houses

Brackenwell Lane, North Rigton - two semi-detached houses and three terraced houses

The council will also proceed with plans to develop three of those sites: Church Close, Sharow; Dene Park, Harrogate; and Brackenwell Lane, North Rigton.

The council report suggested that because those sites had already received more in-depth appraisals than the other five, moves should be made to submit outline planning applications for their development.

The remaining five would be considered for development at a later date following further site appraisal work, the report states.

Coun Chambers also voted in favour of delegating authority to the head of housing and property to vary the number and type of homes allowed on the site, in a bid for "quicker decision making process" throughout the planning stages.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter