“We've taken back control”: Harrogate councillors praise decision to reject 175-home development

The proposed site (dark green) of the 175-home development near Boroughbridge.
The proposed site (dark green) of the 175-home development near Boroughbridge.

Harrogate councillors have praised a decision to reject a plan for 175 homes at Boroughbridge, with one saying that it felt like they had "at last... taken back control".

Members of Harrogate's planning committee were asked to consider refusing an application by Gladman Developments for the homes on greenfield off Leeming Lane.

Council officers had recommended the proposal for rejection, with their primary concern being that it would cut down on green space between Kirby Hill and Boroughbridge, eventually leading the communities to merge into one.

Ahead of the vote, planning committee members heard from representatives of the local parish councils and community, with both speaking against the proposal.

Coun Robert Windass said he "totally and utterly" agreed with them.

"There are far too many houses being built in Boroughbridge... it’s becoming absolutely swamped," he said.

"(If development continued) it would not be long before all the villages are one.

"Enough is enough."

His views were echoed by Coun Pat Marsh, who said the "significant weight" that can now be given to the emerging local plan provided councillors a viable option for rejecting planning applications.

"It's the first time in a long time that I sit here with a smile on my face, saying 'at last we've taken back control'," she said.

"At last we've got the local plan... to be able to sit here today and be able to say, 'No thank you Mr Gladman, enough is enough'".

The council's report on the proposal stated that the site is unallocated in the draft local plan and exceeds the development limit of Boroughbridge.

With debate over, councillors voted unanimously to reject the development.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter