Next step in plans for 1000 new homes near Harrogate
A move to build 1000 new homes south-west of Harrogate has been given approval to move to the next stage, although the local parish council has already flagged opposition to the plans.
The proposal by Carter Jonas - which also includes building two primary schools and retail units on land at Windmill Farm, off the Otley Road at Beckwithshaw - has taken another step forward, after Harrogate Borough Council approved preliminary work undertaken by the developer.
It comes after Carter Jonas, acting on behalf of Anwyl Land, undertook a raft of consultation work following their application to the council in January to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment.
The authority's feedback will now be used to piece together an environmental statement, which the developer will submit alongside their planning application.
The plans have already faced opposition from Beckwithshaw Parish Council, who have stated their concerns over the project due to increased traffic levels, as well as doubting the demand for hundreds of new homes in the area.
"The number of housing sites currently granted approval on the western boundary of harrogate added to this proposal is unsustainable due to lack of capacity in the existing road infrastructure, non-existent public transport, and an already over-subscribed education provision," the Parish council's statement says.
"Market forces drive demand for private housing...In these times of economic uncertainty surely we do not need to grant planning applications until we can prove actual demand."
They also raised opposition to potential development on what is currently a large portion of greenfield land.
"In the short term agricultural use and stewardship of the land will fall into decline as the impact of planning blight takes hold leading to deterioration in the visual aspect of an existing well maintained area of open countryside."
In their feedback, North Yorkshire County Council have welcomed the addition to education in the area with the provision of two new schools, however their highways department said any outline planning application would need to address potential congestion issues that could arise from the development.
Contained in Harrogate's draft local plan as site H49, the 47 hectare site has a potential yield of 776 homes and is one of the largest proposed areas of development in the plan.
The building of 1000 homes at the site would mark a major change for the small nearby village of Beckwithshaw, which has a population of just over 400.
In a report detailing their reasons for approval this month, Harrogate Borough Council wrote that the future environmental statement for the project should include information on the landscape and visual impacts of the work as well as information on ecology, traffic, and flood risk at the site.
The council will also ask for work to be completed on the socio-economic ramifications of the project, as well as potential impacts on cultural heritage and archaeology.
Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter