Flaxby Park developers demand delay on 2,750-home plan ahead of High Court battle with Harrogate council

The developer behind plans for a 2,750-home village at a former Harrogate golf course has demanded that a decision is delayed until after a judicial review takes place later this month.

By Jacob Webster
Friday, 2nd October 2020, 10:42 am
Updated Sunday, 6th December 2020, 10:38 pm

Flaxby Park Ltd will challenge Harrogate Borough Council in the High Court over its decision to choose the Green Hammerton area as a location for a huge housing settlement ahead of Flaxby Golf Course in its Local Plan.

The proposals for the former golf course - first submitted almost three years ago - have been recommended for refusal at a meeting next week.

Chris Musgrave, chief executive of Flaxby Park Ltd, said in a statement that the judicial review should come first and added he was not informed that a decision would be taken on Tuesday - something the council said was caused by a "technical error".

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A spokesman for the council said while the planning meeting could be pushed back a week to allow for the error, it would not allow any further delays.

Mr Musgrave said: “Bearing in mind that the planning application was submitted to the council almost three years ago, we fail to understand why planning officers have decided to present the application on October 6.

"But I urge the planning committee to follow the right course of action and defer a decision on the application until the judicial review has been concluded."

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 its Local Plan was lawful.

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

A spokesman for the council said: "As a gesture of goodwill we have offered the applicant a potential deferment of the application by a week, if they feel they need more time to prepare for the meeting.

"While we do not agree that the applicant has been disadvantaged we do apologise for the error.

“We are currently awaiting a response from them. However we are not proposing to defer consideration of this application until the judicial review has taken place, as these are two very separate procedural processes."

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 cabinet will meet next week to approve a public consultation on its preferred proposals for around 3,000 homes in the Green Hammerton, Kirk Hammerton and Cattal area.

Campaigners previously said the council's preferred 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