Plan to build more homes in North Yorkshire village thrown out amid claims of 'environmental harm'

Plans to build more houses at Kirby Hill have been thrown out.
Plans to build more houses at Kirby Hill have been thrown out.

Councillors have rejected plans to develop a new 50-house estate in a Yorkshire village.

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The decision by Harrogate Borough Council's planning committee to reject the proposal to build on land in the village of Kirby Hill, north of Boroughbridge, was taken in spite of property developer, Future Habitat Limited, amending its original planning application which had been for 87 homes.

Speaking at the (June 12) planning meeting, ward councillor Nick Brown (Con, Bishop Monkton & Newby) said the new estate would cause "substantial social and environmental harm" which outweighed any benefits.

He also drew attention to what he claimed were "multiple instances of raw sewage on the streets of Kirby Hill" resulting from overflows of the sewer to which it was proposed the new estate should be connected to.

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The chairman of Kirby Hill Parish Council, Coun Ken Lawson, said that Harrogate Council had already approved the building of 355 new homes in Kirby Hill, more than doubling the size of the settlement where there are currently 294 homes.

"We feel that we have done our bit," said Coun Lawson. "As a secondary, service village, only small-scale develoment is appropriate for Kirby Hill. If you now approve this proposed development, it will swamp an already over-developed community, causing significant social harm."

When the original application for 87 homes was submitted, Harrogate Council received 72 representations from local residents which voiced objections over the loss of agricultural land, the over-development of the village, limited public transport in the area; and local roads being unable to support the increased traffic.

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Coun Margaret Atkinson (Con, Fountains & Ripley) asked: "Why are we building so many houses in a village that has nothing to support it?"

Coun Bernard Bateman (Con, Wathvale) added: "This is a village with no shop and no facilities for people. The whole character of the village is being changed."

A planning department officer told the meeting that the proposed development would contribute towards meeting the district's housing requirement; and that there were no highways or technical objections to the application, which was situated in a sustainable location.

But councillors disagreed. The majority supported the view expressed by Coun Robert Windass (Con, Boroughbridge) that the negative impact on the village was too great to justify planning approval being granted. The application was refused.