Controversial plan for 162 homes in Harrogate recommended for approval

A report has recommended councillors approve an application to build 162 homes on Kingsley Drive in Harrogate.
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National housebuilder Persimmon Homes has harboured an ambition to build on the fields for several years but a previous application for 217 homes was refused in July 2021.

Since the refusal, Persimmon has reduced the number of homes in the development twice.

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Although the scheme is recommended for approval by Harrogate Borough Council planning officer Kate Broadbank, it does not mean it is approved yet.

A report has recommended councillors approve an application to build 162 homes on Kingsley Drive in HarrogateA report has recommended councillors approve an application to build 162 homes on Kingsley Drive in Harrogate
A report has recommended councillors approve an application to build 162 homes on Kingsley Drive in Harrogate

Councillors on Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee will meet next Tuesday afternoon to make the final decision.

It comes almost a year to the day since representatives from Persimmon met Starbeck residents at a fiery meeting at St Andrew’s Church.

Infrastructure concerns

The site is allocated for development in the council’s local plan, which maps out where housebuilding can take place in the district.

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But as with almost every major housing project to come to Harrogate at the moment, concerns over how the homes will impact on local infrastructure that has provoked the most opposition.

Many of the objections to Persimmon’s plans have centred on nearby roads like like Knaresborough Road and Bogs Lane and how they will cope with the increased traffic from new residents.

Around 500 homes could be built in the area if plans by different developers are eventually built.

In Persimmon’s Kingsley Drive plans, the developer has included two access points for vehicles on Kingsley Drive, one to the west of Birstwith Road and one midway between Leyland Road and Rydal Road.

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A mini roundabout is also proposed at the junction with Kingsley Road and the A59.

North Yorkshire County Council says it is satisfied that local roads can accommodate any increase in traffic.

Renewable energy

The first 92 homes will include air source heat pumps to provide 100% of the heating and hot water.

The remaining properties will have conventional gas boilers, however, the developer says these will be supplemented by solar panels and waste water heat recovery, which recycles energy in wastewater to pre-heat the mains cold supply before it is boosted by the boiler.

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The scheme would also include 65 affordable homes through a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership sales.

Harrogate Borough Council planning officer Kate Broadbank said in the report: “The detailed layout, access, landscaping, appearance and design of the proposal are acceptable and are considered compliant with the overarching policies of the development plan and national requirements.

The proposed development will make a valuable contribution to meeting the district’s housing need.

The proposal will have an acceptable impact upon the character and appearance of the area.