Homes plan for Harrogate's old policing college site resurfaces
Plans to demolish the majority of a former policing college site in Harrogate to make way for new housing have resurfaced.
Once home to a National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) college, the land off Yew Tree Lane could accommodate 180 homes - as well as playing fields and a children’s play area - if fresh plans are approved.
Permission for a major redevelopment of the training centre which has sat empty for more than six years was granted in 2006 - but the plans were never implemented.
Now, Homes England - the government’s housing agency - has put forward new proposals after holding talks with Harrogate Borough Council.
It wants to convert four of the existing buildings – North Lodge, Headmasters House, Kensington House and the library – into 16 homes.
The rest of the site would be demolished to allow for the construction of terraced, semi-detached and detached homes, with between one and five bedrooms.
Documents from Homes England said: "Relevant site clearance and demolition works on site have been approved under a previous planning permission with preliminary enabling works started and main building demolition works scheduled to commence in June 2020.
"The proposed development differs from the previously approved scheme only insofar as it proposes an uplift of 19 residential dwellings. All other details remain the same."
The site had been the operational base for 184 NPIA staff, with more than 1,200 police officers visiting every year for training.
When the original plans were first put forward more than 60 residents and Harrogate Civic Society raised concerns about the scale of the development.
This month the council told Homes England that an Environmental Impact Assessment of the site would not be needed before updated plans are formally submitted.
Representations from Homes England concluded: "It is envisaged that the development will be bought forward in phases over a 4-year period.
"It will involve the conversion of the non-designated heritage assets to create up to 16 dwellings and will involve the development of up to 164 new build dwellings.
"With the implementation of the above best practice measures through an appropriately worded planning condition there will be no significant environmental effects from the proposed development.
"This position has previously been shared by the previous applicant and the council and remains unchanged as a result of 19 additional dwellings."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter