THREE affordable flats could be built in one of Yorkshire’s most expensive streets after planning permission was granted this week.
The outline application for five detached homes and three flats for over-55s was passed by Harrogate Borough Council despite objections from nearby residents.
Although most said they did not object to the principle of developing the site in Fulwith Mill Lane, they said it was not suitable for affordable housing. The applicant - the trustees of the Audrey and Stanley Burton 1960 Trust - had previously offered to build six affordable family homes elsewhere, but had been told this contravened council policy.
Representing the residents, Coun Matthew Hill told planners: “The most important point is that the council is being offered six affordable family homes but is following a policy to potentially throw away an opportunity to reap maximum benefit from this development.”
He said the site was unsuitable for affordable flats for older people because it was some distance from shops and public transport and the residents might not be able to afford their own cars. But planners rejected the suggestion the six homes would be a better option, arguing there was demand for smaller affordable homes which would free up larger houses that were currently under-occupied.
Reminding the meeting the application was only for outline permission, not for a specific proposal, chairman Nigel Simms said: “Let’s not get into a war about whether this is the right place for affordable housing.
“Our policy states it should be on site where possible.”
Planning officer Neville Watson said any specific plans would have to come before the panel for approval, at which point their suitability for the location could be discussed - including aspects such as housing density and design. The plans were passed unanimously by the committee.