Plans for 600 houses at Manse Farm

Plans for 600 houses at Manse Farm on the eastern edge of Knaresborough have been submitted to Harrogate Borough Council.

Developers Commercial Estates Group (CEG) have submitted an outline plan for the greenfield site which includes 600 homes, up to 2.5 ha of land for employment uses and land set aside for a primary school and rail halt, despite the site not yet being approved by Harrogate Borough Council under their Local Development Framework (LDF).

The council are due to vote on the inclusion of the Manse Farm site in the LDF on March 6, and if included the plans will be put forward for public consultation in May.

Knaresborough Mayor Coun John Batt has criticised the developers for submitting an application before the public consultation.

He said: “They should have waited to see what the people of Knaresborough have to say, people haven’t really reacted to it yet.

“I don’t really think people in Knaresborough think this is likely to happen so it is necessary they are consulted.”

Harrogate Borough Council have identified a need for 738 homes in Knaresborough under the LDF, but Knaresborough Town Councillor Andrew Willoughby said he felt that this is too much.

He said: “The main problem is Harrogate has allocated more than a fair share of housing to Knaresborough, there are too many for the area.”

Harrogate Borough Council’s local plan originally proposed the site at Manse Farm as the site for 700 dwellings and 5 ha of employment land, but this was amended in October 2012 and the full council voted to propose 400 houses and 2.5 ha of employment land for the site.

Proposals for 300 houses at the Lido Park were included in the draft LDF in October, but these plans were thrown out after an HBC council meeting last month.

CEG’s outline proposals include more than 30 per cent of the site to be dedicated to green infrastructure including woodland, pathways and play areas as well as land for offices and light industrial businesses.

The plans indicate that vehicle access to the site will be from York Road via roundabouts, with an additional access point from the Eastfield estate reserved for buses only.

The proposals also include land for a rail halt, but Coun Batt is not convinced by those proposals.

He said: “The traffic will end up at Bond End which already has problems with air quality.

“I’m not sure if that is the best place for a rail halt. I think it would be better for a rail halt to be built at Flaxby with a car park so people can park and ride into Leeds, Harrogate and York.”

A spokesperson from CEG was unavailable for comment.

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