Proposals for 130 new homes in Harrogate have been turned down by councillors over concerns of the ‘significant harm’ it could potentially cause to the special landscape area.
Developer Gladman Developments Ltd’s outline plan for a field off Hookstone Road near St John Fisher Catholic High School was refused at a Harrogate Borough Council Planning Committee on Tuesday.
Councillors said the proposal would impact on the Crimple Valley Special Landscape Area and green wedge land, which breaks up the urban edge of Harrogate from open countryside.
Chairman of the Planning Committee, Coun John Mann said: “The essence of our decision was that the proposed development of 130 dwellings would have caused significant harm, to the character of the Crimple Valley Special Landscape Area and to the area designated as a green wedge.
“We thought it would also cause harm to Harrogate Conservation area, the southern boundary of which ends at Hookstone Road."
He added: “The committee was against this because of the potential erosion of the special landscape are and the risk it presented to the green wedge.
“We need to preserve these green spaces which help make Harrogate such a great town.
“The developer of course do have the right to re-apply and it remains open for them to take it to the inspectorate but we have done our job of protecting Harrogate.”
Plans have previously been overturned in the area for similar concerns.
Harrogate College’s application for up to 89 homes and an artificial grass pitch on land off Hookstone Road and Hornbeam Avenue was turned down in November last year. It is currently awaiting news from the Planning Inspectorate as it appeals this decision.
The outline plan generated 100 objections and 27 supporting letters from residents, who flagged concerns over the impact on green spaces, traffic and the need for more affordable housing within the district.
John Lorimer, Chairman Of Hookstone Residents Group who opposed the plans said: "We are delighted to receive the unanimous support of the Councillors. Like us they are resolute in their belief that the Green Wedges of Harrogate should be protected for generations to come.
"Like us they are resolute in their belief that the Green Wedges of Harrogate should be protected for generations to come."
One of the residents in favour of the plans, Callum Beattie of Hookstone Chase, said in a letter of support: “Harrogate as a whole has had a lack of new housing for many years, consistently missing its housing target by around 80 per cent. A major new development such as this is more than welcome.”
Developer Gladman Developments Ltd declined to provide a comment at the time of producing this article.