Revealed: Harrogate among fastest-growing areas in Yorkshire and the Humber

It's a common argument across the Harrogate district - just how many new homes are springing up in your area?

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 10:01 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 10:20 am

There is a huge housing demand and new building sites always spark the same complaints, usually about traffic havoc or a strain on local services.

But whereabouts are the most amount of new builds really popping up - and is Harrogate seeing the biggest surge?

A new report from Paragon Bank has the answer.

Harrogate has been revealed as one of the fastest-growing areas in Yorkshire and the Humber. Photo: Getty Images.

The development finance provider has examined the entire Yorkshire and Humber region to find out which areas saw rapid housing growth between 2019 and 2020.

Coming fourth in the charts, Harrogate has emerged as one of the fastest with a 60% increase in new housing completions after 770 new homes were added up until June.

Topping the list was the neighbouring City of York which added 500 new homes during the same period, a huge 100% increase on 2019.

Coming close behind was North East Lincolnshire (95%) and Craven (64%).

So what does this mean for Harrogate? And is it a good thing that so many more new homes are being built?

Harrogate Borough Council says so.

The authority previously said there is a "desperate" need for more affordable housing in the district as it is one of the most unaffordable places to live in England.

When it adopted its Local Plan earlier this year, the council set a minimum target of building 13,377 new homes between 2014 and 2035.

A council spokesman has now said it is "good news" that the district is propelling towards this target and added having a Local Plan puts it in the "driving seat" to decide where these homes will be built.

"This is good news for the district and the growth is a reflection of the aspirations in the recently adopted Local Plan which seeks to provide much needed homes as well as employment and services," the spokesman said.

"Having a Local Plan in place will ensure that development occurs in the most sustainable places and is accompanied by facilities and services.

"Whilst housing delivery has increased in recent years, this has not always been the case in the district and delivery has been much slower historically.

"Whilst the shortfall is accounted for within the local plan trajectory, we have acknowledged the historic issues with past delivery and we have voluntarily developed a Housing Delivery Action Plan to accelerate and ensure continued delivery."

Councillor Pat Marsh, leader of Harrogate's Liberal Democrats, said young people and families in Harrogate are facing a "tragic" struggle of not being able to afford rent or a mortgage - and that cheaper housing is desperately needed.

However, she added "simply throwing up developments isn’t the answer".

"We need to ensure it’s the right types of homes, truly affordable one, two, and three-bed properties, in keeping with existing homes in the area," she said.

"Harrogate has seen huge growth in housing, however new planning rules proposed by the government are set to remove crucial community involvement and remove our ability of councillors to scrutinise applications, handing all the power to big developers with the intention to further speed up housing growth."

Mick Howard, regional relationship director at Paragon Bank, added: “Housebuilding in Yorkshire and the Humber over the past five years has been very strong reflecting the region’s strong economies and attractiveness as a location to live.

"Demand remains strong and we expect to see more projects started across the region over the next year.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter