Harrogate councillor's countryside home plan refused by committee because it is too big

Harrogate Borough Council has rejected one of its own councillor's plans to build a retirement home in the countryside.

Thursday, 12th March 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th March 2020, 3:08 pm

Coun Margaret Atkinson, who is a member of the council's planning committee, was not allowed inside a meeting when her colleagues examined her Kirkby Malzeard proposals for the third time.

The three-bedroom home was rejected because it was "significantly beyond" the size for an acceptable agricultural dwelling in the area - despite an agent for Coun Atkinson being previously told to scale back the proposals.

The application was for a three-bedroom home in Kirkby Malzeard. Photo: Google.

However, the meeting heard how a different decision might have been reached if the committee had not previously attached a condition which limits the occupation of the property to an agricultural worker.

Regardless of this, Coun Pat Marsh said the committee needed to "send a clear message" with its decision because the plan was not altered as requested.

Coun Stuart Martin agreed, saying he was "really disappointed" that the agent had not "read between the lines of what the committee was saying."

The application was granted outline planning permission in October last year - but it requires a secondary stamp of approval before construction work can go ahead.

It was rejected because the overall size of the proposed property was 25 per cent larger than the maximum allowed.

A document submitted with the proposals said: "As set out within the outline application, this property is for the applicant, Mr and Mrs Atkinson to retire from their full time role of farming the land around Kirkby Malzeard.

"The house will be funded by Mr and Mrs Atkinson and will remain an asset of the family farm for future generations.

"The house has been sized to allow Mr and Mrs Atkinson to continue their current standard of accommodation, allowing the wider family to stay with them as and when required by farming needs."

Another reason for refusal was because the revised design did not include storage provision - and could therefore need further work and become too expensive for another owner.

Chair of the committee, Coun John Mann, said: "I very much hope the applicant and officers can in the future agree on something that is acceptable."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter