Feasibility plan for Harrogate homeless site gets cash boost

Funding was gratned to develop a business case and put forward a planning application
Funding was gratned to develop a business case and put forward a planning application

Planners have received more than £20,000 from Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) to establish the feasibility for new homeless accommodation in Harrogate.

Council documents show that housing chiefs approved an additional £4,528, on top of the £16,854 already invested, to develop a business case and put forward a planning application for a potential site on Spa Lane in Starbeck.

HBC has said the potential accommodation could face hurdles, as several options are available for the land at Spa Lane. But the council has also highlighted how local authorities are now required to undertake additional duties because of the Homelessness Reduction Act, 2017.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We have been looking for additional accommodation for homeless people for some time and are actively considering a number of options.

“The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 will place additional duties on us with regard to homelessness and although the full effect is not known at the moment it is prudent to make plans for the future.

“We have committed funds to evaluate the feasibility of a site in Harrogate. Other uses for the site are also being considered and as such no decision has been made regarding its future use.

“There is a variety of accommodation for homeless individuals and families which is available across the Harrogate district. Harrogate Borough Council operates 50 units ranging from bedsits through to three bedroom accommodation.

“The Harrogate Homeless Project and Women’s Refuge also have accommodation for the particularly vulnerable, such as rough sleepers and victim of domestic abuse. Leeds Federated Housing Association also has four properties in the district and private suppliers, such as Bed and Breakfasts are also used to provide accommodation for those in need.”

Liz Hancock of the Harrogate Homeless Project has said the move could be a positive step by the council in supporting people before they reach a crisis point.

Mrs Hancock said: “This is a really positive step by the council towards embracing their duties and taking up their responsibilities. We would fully encourage them to pursue these plans as part of this.”