Council to award ‘urgent’ £375,000 contract to save rough sleepers flats in Harrogate
Feb 22, 2024
The garages pictured before some were demolished.

North Yorkshire Council is to award a £375,000 contract to provide accommodation for rough sleepers in Harrogate.

The contract is due to be awarded urgently and discussed in secret due to fears funding will be lost and the scheme collapse if work doesn’t begin soon.

Harrogate Borough Council approved plans in October 2022 to demolish 10 garages at Woodfield Close, near the iron bridge, to make way for two one-bedroom flats providing temporary accommodation.

But a report by North Yorkshire Council, which succeeded Harrogate Borough Council in April last year, said:

“The site has been delayed due to local government reorganisation and we are now at risk of losing the funding if we do not complete the works by March 2025. The council therefore needs to progress this matter within a short timeframe.”

It added the completion date was one of the conditions imposed by government housing agency Homes England, which is part-funding the initiative.

It said:

“In order to meet this deadline it is necessary to procure an external contractor to undertake the development.

“Due to the delays with the site the grant from Homes England has been reduced by £3,000 therefore in order to ensure no further grant is lost it is important to continue works on the site to meet the deadlines provided by the funders.”

The report added the council’s in-house development team was unable to fulfil the project “due to work loads”.

The decision to treat it as urgent means it can not be called in for scrutiny by councillors

In a separate report, the council revealed it also plans to urgently award a £375,000 contract to develop two one-bedroom flats at Church Close in Sharow, near Ripon, for council-owned social housing.

The site in Sharow.

The report said:

“The development of this council-owned former garage site will provide two much needed social rented homes in the Sharow area.”

It said the completion deadline is March 2025 and “in order to meet this deadline it is necessary to procure an external contractor to undertake the development”.

As with the Harrogate scheme, it added the council’s in-house development team had too much work on to complete the project.

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