1000 homes could be built on Knaresborough's York Road if latest plan goes ahead

The location of the proposed 402-home development, which is set to be decided this month.
The location of the proposed 402-home development, which is set to be decided this month.

More than 1000 new homes could be built on the York Road near Knaresborough, with a decision on a major housing development at the site set to be made this month.

An outline application for 402 homes at Highfield Farm off York Road was initially meant to be voted on by planning committee councillors at their April 25 meeting.

However, it was deferred to ensure that representatives of the local parish and town councils could speak on the matter, according to correspondence from Harrogate Borough Council's principal planning officer Mark Williams to representatives of applicants Taylor Wimpey.

The Highfield Farm proposal is now set to be decided at the council's May 14 planning committee.

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If approved, it would be the latest large-scale housing project for the historic market town.

Immediately west of the Highfield Farm site is the Manse Farm development which was approved in 2018 and includes plans for 600 dwellings, a primary school and employment land.

The two developments together could see more than 1000 homes built upon the section of road east of Knaresborough.

The Highfield Farm site sits on a 24.4 hectare parcel of agriculture land, allocated in the council's draft local plan as site K25.

The council's report on the proposal submitted for the April planning meeting recommends it for approval, stating that it would contribute positively to the authority's housing land supply.

The majority of homes on the site will be two-bedroom dwellings, with the remainders to be either one, three or four bedrooms.

Both Knaresborough Town Council and Goldsborough Parish Council have opposed the proposal.

Knaresborough Town Council disagreed with the borough's assessment that the site was sustainable, citing its distance to the town's train station (1.9 miles) and nearest bus service (400 metres) as issues.

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The Town Council also voiced concerns about a lack of recreational space at the development, which it says would increase pressures on the nearby Hay-A-Park, as well as a perceived lack of vehicle, cycle and pedestrian access to the development.

The Parish Council's objections include fears over increased traffic in the area, a lack of public transport, additional pressure on local community services, no access to the neighbouring Manse Farm Development, and harm to the rural nature of the parish.

If approved, the two York Road developments won't be the only large housing plans to go ahead in the town.

In January this year, councillors also approved a 175-dwelling application at Bar Lane, despite concerns over traffic, pollution and over-development around the town.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter