Councillors back plea to remove Knox Lane site in Harrogate from local plan

Harrogate and Knaresborough councillors will ask officials drawing up a new map for future housebuilding across North Yorkshire to consider removing the 53-home Knox Lane site.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Developer Jomast has seen proposals repeatedly thwarted by council planning committees, most recently in September when it was refused.

The plans have been controversial in Bilton and Knox with residents claiming the development will destroy wildlife and a green corner of the Harrogate suburb.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More than 2,200 people have signed the petition calling on North Yorkshire Council to remove the site, also called H2, from inclusion in the local plan that it’s currently working on.

Harrogate and Knaresborough councillors have backed a plea to remove the Knox Lane site from the local planHarrogate and Knaresborough councillors have backed a plea to remove the Knox Lane site from the local plan
Harrogate and Knaresborough councillors have backed a plea to remove the Knox Lane site from the local plan

But if the Knox Lane site were not to be included, it would significantly reduce the chances of houses ever being built there.

However, developer Jomast would likely be keen to secure planning permission before the new local plan is finalised as the site is included in the current Harrogate local plan.

Alison Hayward, who organised the petition, addressed councillors at the Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee in Harrogate on Thursday morning.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Hayward said: “This community is made of individuals and families who treasure our peaceful natural surroundings and historic value.

"This community has residents who care and are worried about what will happen, and what we shall all lose if housing developments are allowed in H2.

“Including the site in the local plan would contradict the principles of sustainable and community-centred development.”

Councils are legally obliged to have a local plan that sets out where houses can be built over a minimum 15-year period.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new North Yorkshire Council local plan is still in the early stages and officers have not said where land could be allocated for development.

It is likely to take several years before it’s agreed.

Division Councillor Paul Haslam (Conservative - Bilton and Nidd Gorge) said if houses were to be built at Knox Lane then residents would suffer because it was not near a bus stop or other local facilities.

He said: “Imagine walking Knox Lane in the dark to get the 36 bus.

"There are other issues around adding to congestion, access to emergency services, flooding and building techniques required.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Residents have made a constructive local-based consideration for us.”

Councillor Peter Lacey (Liberal Democrat – Coppice Valley and Duchy) proposed a motion to ask North Yorkshire Council to give “serious consideration” to removing Knox Lane from the local plan.

The motion was backed by all councillors except Councillor Hannah Gostlow (Liberal Democrat – Knaresborough East) who abstained because she sits on the council’s development plan committee overseeing the local plan process.

The Harrogate and Knaresborough area committee has an advisory role so any decision on whether Knox Lane is included in the local plan will be made at a later date.