Residents fury at plans for 290 houses

tis  Proposed land for housing and a Dobbies Garden Centre next to the A59.  (121130M5a)
tis Proposed land for housing and a Dobbies Garden Centre next to the A59. (121130M5a)

Furious residents blasted plans for 290 houses on Skipton Road at the first of two public consultations.

Angry residents have said they are against the proposals. Jennyfield resident Andrew Kirkby said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to is opposed to it.

“Harrogate Borough Council clearly say brownfield sites should be used, but the minute a developer comes along the council seem to be willing to use green field sites.”

Mr Kirkby said he is determined to help the public to oppose the plans and has set up a goverment registered e-petition.

Residents already concerned about the effect on the roads by the Tesco store planned on the same street, raised their concerns.

They questioned how the existing Skipton Road would cope with the added traffic from the new houses and the proposed Dobbies garden centre.

Haworth Drive resident Jean Walls said: “Traffic already queues right back down Crowberry Drive at peak times waiting to get out, it can sometimes take half an hour.”

Mr Kirkby added: “It will only get worse with nearly 300 two car families getting out of an estate opposite.”

The initial plans show the entrance to the development from Skipton Road opposite Crowberry Drive, with a roundabout the company claims will ease congestion.

A spokesperson from developers Commercial Estates Group said as the site has less than 300 houses only one access point would be required.

A resident who did not wish to be named questioned the safety of this proposal. “How will the emergency services get in if there’s a fire, especially if traffic is blocking the road,” she said.

“And what about young children having to cross the busy Skipton Road to use the play areas?”

Many people at the consultation questioned how affordable the new houses would be. Coun Steven Jackson (Con, Saltergate) said the council would like to see around 50 per cent of the development as affordable housing.

The plans on display showed images of detached family homes, local resident David Jessiman said: “Will a young lad working in his first job or a newly married couple be able to afford them?”

Young couple Laura Peel, 21 and James Elsworth, 22 agreed the proposals would not suit first time buyers.

The couple were initially pleased with the prospect of new houses being built, hoping they could buy their first home close to where they grew up.

However after seeing Commercial Estates Group’s plans Miss Peel said: “It is not at all what I was expecting.

“I thought there would be small starter homes. It’s frustrating, I am living at home trying to save money for a mortgage and I would never be able to afford a mortgage on the types of houses they want to build there.”

A second public consultation is to be held on Saturday December 1 between 11am and 2pm at the Harrogate North Children’s Centre, Newby Crescent.