Birstwith housing development to front planning committee

The proposed development on the outskirts of Birstwith. Picture: Harrogate Borough Council
The proposed development on the outskirts of Birstwith. Picture: Harrogate Borough Council

The village of Birstwith will be thrust into the planning committee spotlight later this month, with a controversial application for eight homes to be decided on.

While planning committee permission wouldn't usually be required for a development of this size, the proposal by applicant David Holmes for farmland at Clint Bank will.

It comes after Coun Tom Watson called the application in, over concerns the project won't contain any affordable housing and foothpaths in the development don't tie in with the existing footpath at the site.

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The application will see preliminary work able to start at the site, including landscaping and entrance construction.

The dwellings, detailed in an outline planning application that has previously been accepted by the committee, are all detached and two storey in scale and will be constructed in stone with slate roofs.

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Birstwith Parish Council has noted that it doesn't "object to or support the application" but commented that a written agreement should be written to prevent the misuse of open green space at the site, and that a footpath at the development entrance should join up with the existing footpath on Station Road.

Other representations to the council outline concerns that the latest version of the application doesn't reflect the original, while also expressing fears over potential damage to visual amenity to the wider area while also being an overbearing presence on neighbouring properties.

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Harrogate Borough Council have recommended the application for approval.

"The proposal will make a modest contribution towards meeting the housing needs of district, including a financial contribution towards the provision of affordable housing," a report by council officers states.

Among their recommendations is a S106 agreement that will see the developer put £25,133 towards community facilities - these including £9,208 for open space enhancement elsewhere in the village and £15,925 for village hall enhancement.

A decision is due to be made at a meeting on May 14.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter