'Appalling' plans for 72 homes at historic Harrogate village set for final approval

Controversial plans for 72 homes at a historic village between Harrogate and Wetherby have been redrawn and recommended for final approval.
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Proposals to build to the homes at Massey Fold in Spofforth were approved - subject to conditions - by Harrogate Borough Council's planning committee in March last year, despite objections.

The developers Vistry Partnerships and Yorkshire Housing have now put forward finalised plans which seek to address the complaints from hundreds of residents that the homes would be out of character of the village and cause traffic and flooding problems.

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The finalised plans are for land near Massey Fold in SpofforthThe finalised plans are for land near Massey Fold in Spofforth
The finalised plans are for land near Massey Fold in Spofforth

Shirley Fawcett, chairman of Spofforth Parish Council, said in a letter that one of the greatest concerns is the "visual intrusion" that would be caused by proposals to raise ground levels at the site by 1.5 metres.

"The impact on local residents, the access into a street off Massey Fold, and the narrow A661 access into the village will be appalling," she said.

Another objector added: "There is no part of this proposed development which is satisfactory and the fact that Harrogate Borough Council has already provided any outline planning consent at all is a disgrace.

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"I find it astonishing to believe that this is the most appropriate land for a development of this scale?

"The fact that it is so prone to flooding and standing water, and therefore needs to be raised by such a considerable amount, is the tip of the iceberg."

A council planning officer said in a report that changes to the layout and design of the homes, plus redrawn access for vehicles and pedestrians, means construction should now go ahead.

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He said: "Both the parish council and local residents' concerns have been noted regarding traffic and raising ground levels with potential for increased flooding.

"Conditions controlling these factors are attached to the outline consent and remain to be discharged

"It is considered that the scheme is in accordance with the provisions of the development. The details of the reserved matters, appearance, scale , layout and landscaping are acceptable and approval can be supported."

The application has been recommended for final approval at a meeting of the council's planning committee on 17 November.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter