Shock as plans for 290 homes on Skipton Road announced

tis. The Grove Road and Skipton Road area of Harrogate. 091029GS3q.
tis. The Grove Road and Skipton Road area of Harrogate. 091029GS3q.

Plans for two large developments which could see 290 homes and a garden centre with 350 seater restaurant built on Skipton Road have been announced.

Harrogate residents are to be consulted on the separate developments which together could cover a total of 70 acres north of Skipton Road.

A 60 acre site opposite the Jennyfield Estate could see 290 houses built under the council’s Local Development Framework, while a separate proposal for a Garden World by Dobbies would cover an adjacent 10 acre parcel of land.

The housing site falls under the LDF and councillors voted in favour of a consultation. Coun Steven Jackson (Con, Saltergate) said: “With a decision of this magnitude the only real way to proceed is to engage and involve the public as much as possible.

“No one has voted for a single house to be built,” he stressed.

But the plans have been labelled crazy by the Chairman of Harrogate Chamber of Trade, Brian Dunsby and residents have already started to voice their concerns online.

Resident Graham Hyde said: “Is the traffic on Skipton Road not bad enough already? Add Tesco when it comes. Bypass anyone?”

Twitter user Kate Furnell said: “The traffic drives me mad already on Skipton Road.”

Coun Jackson said he shared the concerns about Skipton Road’s traffic flow. “There is quite a lot of development proposed for Skipton Road,” he said, “we need to ensure that the road and infrastructure can cope with it.”

And Coun Jackson’s ward colleague County Coun Don Mackenzie (Con) said while he recognises the need for more homes, he would prefer to see them built on brownfield sites within the town.

Property development group Commercial Estates Projects (CEP) will be hosting two public exhibitions

Steve McBurney, Development Project Manager at CEP, said: “We are keen to take this early opportunity to discuss our initial proposals in more detail with the local community.”

The 60 acre site CEP is proposing is one of the sites included in the council’s Local Development Framework which members approved for public consultation on October 17.

Preferred sites for houses and businesses are listed including the Skipton Road site for 290 houses, 400 homes at Manse Farm, Knaresborough, 500 houses North of Penny Pot Lane and 680 dwellings at Cardale Park West.

The exhibitions will run on Thursday, November 29 between 5.30 and 8pm and Saturday December 1 between 11am and 2pm at the Harrogate North Children’s Centre, Newby Crescent.

Dobbies will hold public consultations into its proposals on Tuesday December 4 between noon and 4pm and again at 5.30pm to 7.30pm at St Peter’s Church and on Wednesday December 5 from 1.30pm to 5pm, at the Jennyfield Styan Community Centre.

Dobbies is considering the site on Skipton Road, two miles from the town centre. It would house more than 10,000 plants, shrubs and trees and include extensive outdoor areas as well as a specialist aquatics department alongside the food hall and restaurant.

Stuart Wright, Director of Property for Dobbies, said: “We are excited about the prospect of building our newest Garden World in Harrogate and want to work closely with the local community to ensure our plans fit local requirements for the chosen site.”

“We will also be working with Yorkshire suppliers to fill our farm food hall shelves, feature on the menu of our restaurant and help provide a range of gardening and plant products,” he said.

*What do you think, would these two developments be a step too far for Skipton Road? E-mail or tweet @HarrogateHound