Council await government approval for housing sites

tis  Potential housing development land near Cardale Park.  (110707M1e)
tis Potential housing development land near Cardale Park. (110707M1e)

Harrogate’s long awaited housing plan looks set to be finalised in 2014.

Planning bosses at Harrogate Borough Council have submitted their draft Local Development Framework (LDF) proposal to the Secretary of State for approval, and a decision is expected in spring next year.

Despite the housing plans still being in the draft stage a huge number of developers have come forward with plans for council approved sites, with six developers gaining permission for sites in the last year.

Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for planning, transport and economic development, Coun Alan Skidmore said he expected the council would see more applications after the LDF has been approved.

“I suspect there will be some applications, that is what developers are all about.

“I would suspect we are going to see some interest from various developers in what has been proposed.

“They will be looking at that proposal to see if they can fit in and how their plans can fit in with us.”

He added: “There are all kinds of rumours flitting about, that doesn’t surprise me, but these things are somewhere down the line yet - people are working on the plans first.”

Dave Allenby, head of planning and development at Harrogate Borough Council said that the inclusion of a site in the proposals, did not necessarily mean it will be built on.

“Each of the sites does still depend on the land owners intentions, we can’t force land owners to bring forward their land for housing development but for most land owners it makes financial sense to bring it forward for housing.”

Over 30 sites across the district have been proposed as suitable for housing, including the old Harrogate Police Station, the former Cattle Market in Knaresborough and Knapping Mount, a site the council have earmarked for new £9m purpose built council offices.

Mr Allenby explained: “At the time the site allocations were decided on no decision had been made by the council on Knapping Mount.

“The plans are flexible, it is changing all the time as houses get approval they are all adding to the overall housing supply for the district.”

Harrogate Borough Council is still short of the five year supply of housing land required, which has led to several housing applications being granted permission.

Coun Skidmore said: “We have received several applications and have had to weigh up each application.

“If we haven’t got a five year housing plan it weighs in the favour of the developers.”

The first of the district’s urban expansion site was approved in October, with developers CEG being granted permission for 600 houses at Manse Farm in Knaresborough.

The biggest housing sites

600 houses at land north of Penny Pot Lane

680 houses at Cardale Park West (HTH Harrogate have submitted plans for 450)

290 houses at land north of Penny Pot Lane

600 houses at Manse Farm (permission granted in October 2013)

120 houses at the former Dunlopillo site in Pannal (permission September 2013)

No homes on Pateley coal yard for at least six years

The owner of Pateley Bridge coal yard has stressed the business will not close just because it has been included in Harrogate Borough Council’s housing proposals.

Plans for 28 houses at the coal yard are included in the council’s local plan draft sites and policies plan, which has been sent to the Secretary of State for approval.

Shirley Hawkesworth said: “Just because it’s in the document, it doesn’t mean it will happen overnight.

“The business will run from the site for the next six years at least, as that is the contract we have arranged.”

She added: “We have had the business on the site since 1942; it’s a very long time.”

Over 30 preferred housing sites have been chosen by Harrogate Borough Council and the draft of the local development framework has now been sent to the Secretary of State for approval.

Just three per cent of the allocated housing land is in Pateley Bridge, with proposals for 103 houses split across two sites – The Coal Yard and Ashfield Court Road.

Barratt Homes intends to apply for planning permission for 74 houses at Ashfield Court Road in 2014, and has held a public consultation event, displaying its plans and ideas.

Although Pateley Bridge has been allocated just three per cent of the district’s housing proposals, around 21 per cent of the houses proposed are in villages and countryside areas in the Harrogate district.

This includes 49 houses at land south of Whinbush lane in Summerbridge, 41 houses at Sheepcote Lane in Darley and 56 houses at land south of Brookfield in Hampsthwaite.

The village set to grow by a third if plans are approved

Killinghall village will face being expanded by almost a third if two planning applications get given planning permission.

Local residents have said the sheer number of houses proposed forPicking Croft Lane and Crag Lane are threatening the ‘village atmosphere’ of Killinghall.

Coun Michael Harrison (Con, Killinghall) said: “Many residents in Killinghall have expressed concerns about the allocation of land in Killinghall for new housing.

“There are few villages that have the level of traffic to contend with on a daily basis as Killinghall.

“There are applications now being considered for homes at two sites in the village, both outside the current development limit, and I have consistently said that developers should wait until the development limit is confirmed as part of the local plan process before submitting any planning applications.”

Penny Pot Lane Decision Due

Plans for 600 houses at Penny Pot Lane are expected to go before Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee in January.

The sites and policies draft submitted to the planning inspector has been ameded so that there are 600 houses proposed for the Penny Pot Lane site, in keeping with the current application, rather than the 500 initially suggested.

Persimmon Homes put forward the plans for the site in March 2013 and nearby residents have voiced concerns over traffic issues.

Gary Byrne commented: “The traffic chaos will be a disaster for the west of Harrogate.” Malcom Bottomly said: “The infrastructure is not in place to cater for the traffic.”