Decision on 2,750-home Harrogate village plan delayed as developers were not told of council meeting

A decision on plans for 2,750 homes at a former Harrogate golf course has been delayed after the developers behind the scheme complained they were not told it was up for discussion.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:57 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:58 pm

Harrogate Borough Council was due to run the rule over proposals to build on Flaxby Golf Course at a virtual meeting tomorrow - but a "technical error" by the council meant the developers were not informed.

The plans from Flaxby Park Ltd - first submitted almost three years ago - have been recommended for refusal and will now be considered on 13 October.

It comes as the developers are preparing for a judicial review against the council over its decision to leave the proposals out of Harrogate's Local Plan.

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The proposals for Flaxby Golf Course include 2,750 homes, two primary schools and a former train station being brought back into use.

Flaxby Park Ltd will challenge the council in the High Court later this month after the authority choose the Green Hammerton area as a preferred location for a huge housing settlement ahead of Flaxby Golf Course.

Chris Musgrave, chief executive of Flaxby Park Ltd, complained that the planning decision should be taken after the judicial review. However, the council said the two issues are separate and that it would not allow any further delays.

Mr Musgrave said this was "nonsense" and that the legal battle could be a "game changer" for the district's Local Plan.

He said: “The council are now proposing to take our application to a special planning committee meeting, just two weeks before the High Court judicial review hearing, which we find surprising to say the least.

“In our view, the council should defer our planning application until after the Judicial Review has been considered by the High Court.”

The judicial review will take place on 27, 28, and 29 October in London where a judge will decide if the council's decision to leave Flaxby Park out of the Local Plan was lawful.

Mr Musgrave claimed the council's decision was based on “flawed information of a scant, conflicting and contradictory nature”.

The proposals for Flaxby Golf Course include 2,750 homes, two primary schools, commercial space including a hotel, and a former train station being brought back into use.

Meanwhile, the council's preferred proposals are for around 3,000 homes in the Green Hammerton, Kirk Hammerton and Cattal area.

Campaigners have argued these plans would mean a tenfold increase in the local population, put pressure on local facilities, and see agricultural land destroyed.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter