Flaxby developers start application process

Developers hoping to build en entire new town on the edge of Knaresborough have started the application process.

Thursday, 2nd July 2015, 6:15 pm

Skelwith Group have applied to Harrogate Borough Council for an opinion scoping on its proposals to build a new town with 2,213 houses, shops, restaurants, bars, take-aways, a hotel, care homes, doctors, a primary school and a park on the former Flaxby Golf Course.

The £100million Flaxby Hotel development was put on hold in November 2014 while land owners, Skelwith Group, drew up the plans to build a new town or village on the 280 acre site.

The application to Harrogate Borough Council states that access will be from the A59, a new roundabout was completed at the site last year and cost £4million, making it the most expensive roundabout in North Yorkshire.

The news of the progressing application has come as blow to village opposition group, Residents Against the Flaxby Township (RAFT).

Chairman Eleanor Hewitt said: “It is early days and it is frustrating we aren’t able to comment at this stage, we can’t do anything formally until a full application comes through.”

She added: “I think when this first came up Councillors in Harrogate were rubbing their hands with glee and some people see this as the way to solve Harrogate’s housing problems. They don’t realise the impact it will have on Flaxby, Goldsborough and Knaresborough, nevermind for people driving from Harrogate to the A1. It will be like the Great Yorkshire Traffic every day.”

A spokesperson for Skelwith said that a full application is still someway off.

He said: “The opinion scoping report has been submitted but there is still a lot of work to do before an application can be submitted. This opinion scoping provides the parameters of development that the many environmental reports for an application will refer to, and needs to be submitted before a formal planning application is made for a development of this nature.

“We are committed to conducting further community consultation throughout the process. The master plan is currently still being tweaked and the opinion scoping merely refers to the overall parameters.

“We strongly believe that these plans will help solve the housing shortage in Harrogate and the wider area. This development will be an exemplar of sustainable development.”