Harrogate councillor to make third attempt to win approval for countryside home plan

A Harrogate councillor will this week make a third attempt to win final approval to build a new countryside home after her plans were previously refused over size concerns.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 8:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 8:38 am
Conservative councillor Margaret Atkinson wants final planning permission to build a new home in Kirkby Malzeard.

Conservative councillor Margaret Atkinson, who represents the Fountains and Ripley ward, was granted outline permission to build a four-bedroom farmhouse opposite her existing home in Kirkby Malzeard in 2019 but has since made two failed attempts to secure a final go-ahead.

Her plans were previously refused because officers said she could not justify why the property needed to be so big, however, councillor Atkinson has now submitted a scaled-back application which has been recommended for approval at a meeting on Thursday.

A report to the meeting said the property – which is classed as a farm workers dwelling – had been reduced in size by around 75.5 sq m.

It said: “The proposed dwelling provides for four bedroom accommodation as per the previous application but the overall floorspace has been reduced from 276 sq m to 199.5 sq m.

“The revised proposal provides a dwelling that is considered to be of a scale and level of accommodation commensurate with that of an agricultural workers dwelling.”

The report added while the farmhouse was still larger than Nationally Described Space Standards (NDSS) which recommended up to 124 sq m, this was only guidance and the size was justified by the amount of space needed for farm work.

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As well as four bedrooms, councillor Atkinson’s plans also include a living room, dining room, kitchen, sunroom, office, storage space and two-bay carport.

Other reasons for refusal previously given by officers were a negative impact on the surrounding countryside and that the farmhouse would not have been affordable to any future owners because of its size.

The scale and layout of a proposed garden area was also a concern, as well as a lack of “suitable planting species and mix”.

However, the report to Thursday’s meeting said these areas had now been addressed in the new application.

It said: “The overall layout and design of the proposed property is considered to be in keeping with the local area and would not have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the Nidderdale AONB.

“The proposed landscaping scheme sets out a clear delineation of the domestic curtilage from the wider landscape and the proposed planting provides opportunities for biodiversity net gain and a suitable level of screening.”

Kirkby Malzeard, Laverton and Dallowgill Parish Council did not support or object to the latest application, but did ask for reassurances over highway safety, future development on the site and the impact on the countryside.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter