Plans for three-storey retirement complex in Knaresborough set for approval by Harrogate council

A bid to build a retirement complex on the outskirts of Knaresborough looks set to be approved by councillors next week despite concerns over road safety.

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 4:59 pm

Planning officials at Harrogate Borough Council have recommended approval for the proposals for 69 care apartments at a site near the traffic light-controlled Grimbald Bridge on Wetherby Road.

The application from Adlington Retirement Living will be decided by councillors on 16 February and involves demolishing a derelict bungalow and house to make way for the care complex.

If approved, the site would be served by a new junction on Wetherby Road where improvements to an existing crossing would be made, however, there are still concerns over road safety, with both Knaresborough Town Council and Knaresborough Civic Society raising objections.

This is what the care complex could look like if plans are approved. Photo: Adlington Retirement Living.

"The development is over intensive with poor access and egress on a downhill bend," the town council said in a letter, adding: "Stationery vehicles queuing at the traffic lights pose a danger to traffic."

Highways officials at North Yorkshire County Council have not flagged any concerns over the proposed junction or traffic levels on Wetherby Road, but did make a series of recommendations for the proposed crossing improvements, including the widening of dropped kerbs, replacement paving, road markings and signage.

They were also asked about the introduction of pedestrian-priority crossing controls but the visibility and speed of traffic did not warrant this, documents said.

Adlington Retirement Living said in another planning document that the proposal would create up to 20 jobs and include a restaurant, lounge and hair salon run by a care team. Drawings also show the three-storey development would be made up of 22 one-bedroom, 37 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom apartments.

The company added: "The type of accommodation proposed will help contribute to meet the significant demand for this type of accommodation in this location, where the number of over 65s is expected to increase dramatically over the coming years.

"The proposal will provide much-needed elderly accommodation close to shops and public transport, being particularly suitable for residents with mobility issues."

Recommending the plans for approval, a Harrogate Borough Council planning officer said: "In summary, the development will allow older residents to continue to live independently in their own home. It will contribute to the council’s housing delivery for specialist accommodation.

"The design and landscaping of the buildings are appropriate for this site and impacts with regards to the residential amenity, environmental impact and highways are acceptable.

"The development will create jobs and provide social, environmental and economic benefits to the local area."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter