Penny Pot Lane plans thrown out for last time

NADV 1401146AM2 Penny Pot Lane. (1401146AM2)
NADV 1401146AM2 Penny Pot Lane. (1401146AM2)

Councillors have backed a decision to refuse planning permission for 600 homes off Penny Pot Lane.

The plans by Persimmon Homes were finally refused by the planning referral committee after being initially rejected in February following two rounds of discussions by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee.

Planning referral committee member, Bilton Coun Val Rodgers (Lib Dem) said: “We supported the previous committee’s decision; it was a small group on the committee who made the decision.

“We could tell that everyone who was objecting thought it wasn’t a good idea.

“The traffic concerns were the main reason behind the decision to refuse the plans but there were also issues of drainage.”

She added: “There was an awful lot of local objection. Sometimes people seem to object to plans because they want to object, but in this case we could see there was genuine concerns from local residents about the site.

“As far as I could see it was going to be just a very huge cul-de-sac with just one way out.”

Catherine Wright of the Queen Ethelburgas Residents Action Group had objected to the plans from when they were first submitted.

She said: “It is absolutely farcical to propose a one-road-in and one-road-out development. This mass housing development on the edge of our town will bring with it 1,000-plus cars in an area where the highways infrastructure is not in place.”

Coun Don Mackenzie (Con, Saltergate Ward) spoke out against the plans at all three planning meetings.

He said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of the planning referral meeting. So far, in all six hours of debate by elected members not one person has supported the application.”

Coun Mackenzie said that Harrogate Borough Council’s legal officers advised the committee that if they refused the plans, the developers would be likely to appeal the decision.

The committee was told that if the developers won at an appeal the council would be liable to pay costs.

Coun Mackenzie added: “Despite this the councillors refused the plan, the views of the public have been taken on board in this case.”

Simon Usher, Deputy Managing Director, at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “We are naturally frustrated by the delay in the delivery of much needed new homes and affordable housing at Penny Pot Lane.

“We will be considering our options and talking to officers at the council regarding the next steps.”