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Why plans for 1990s relief road route near Knaresborough could be axed

North Yorkshire Councils Executive will be asked to rescind plans for part of the road
North Yorkshire Councils Executive will be asked to rescind plans for part of the road

County councillors could shelve old approved plans for part of an outer Harrogate relief road, which could be a road block to a key housing development in Knaresborough.

North Yorkshire Council’s Executive will be asked to rescind part of the road on July 24, which would lie east of the proposed Killinghall bypass and run north of Knaresborough to Goldsborough.

The route is not among options running between Harrogate and Knaresborough that are being investigated as part of the Harrogate congestion study. Identified in the 1990s, it was hoped the stretch of road could be built within a decade, but changes to government funding stopped the project.

NYCC say the route conflicts with a housing application, submitted for agricultural land on Boroughbridge Road. The site is one of Harrogate Borough Council’s (HBC) housing allocations in the district’s Local Plan, with plans for 146 homes.

County Coun Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “In this recommendation to our Executive, we are taking a realistic view. “Evidence shows that this relief road alignment is no longer considered fit for purpose.

“Therefore, we do not see a benefit in retaining this alignment and, in so doing, putting an impediment in the way of development in Knaresborough.

“Should the route be rescinded, the County Council, as local highway authority, will be in a position to give a positive recommendation in response to the planning application for housing development in Boroughbridge Road.”

In a report, Highways officers told the council they had issued a refusal recommendation to HBC for the outline plans on Boroughbridge Road in April.

They said this was solely because it could ‘compromise’ their ability to deliver the old route. They also flagged in the report the potential cost if plans are not rescinded.

They said: “Should the recommendations of this report not be agreed and an appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission is pursued or the application is refused by Harrogate Borough Council on the basis of the LHA recommendation for refusal there is a significant risk of a successful claim for costs against the County Council. Experience suggests that these costs could be in the region of £200,000.”

The Executive is also being recommended to retain the currently approved route for the Killinghall bypass, pending the outcome of the Harrogate congestion study.