Developers challenge Spofforth 72-home refusal


Last updated May 19, 2021
Developers have appealed a council decision to refuse a plan for 72 homes in Spofforth.

Developers behind a controversial 72-home plan in Spofforth have lodged an appeal against Harrogate Borough Council’s refusal of the scheme.

Councillors on the authority’s planning committee turned down the application by Vistry Partnerships and Yorkshire Housing in November last year.

At the time, more than 300 local people and organisations, including Natural England and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, raised concerns about the scheme on Massey Fold in the village.

The proposal already has outline permission, but councillors rejected the application which dealt with the appearance and landscaping of the development even though a council report recommended approval.

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The council said the plan would have a “detrimental urbanising impact upon the character and setting of Spofforth”.

Now, the developers have taken the decision to the government’s Planning Inspectorate, which deals with planning appeals.

A statement of case by planning lawyers Walton & Co, which is representing the developers, said the “solitary” reason for refusal was “expressed in generic language”.

It said:

“It is therefore unclear which particular aspect of the layout or design of the proposed scheme is considered to give rise to such impacts, and the assertions made in the reason for refusal are entirely unsubstantiated.”

A decision on the appeal will be made by the government at a later date.

It becomes the latest Harrogate council planning decision to be challenged by developers.

Retail firm Euro Garages has also taken the authority’s rejection for a drive-thru Starbucks coffee shop on Wetherby Road to appeal.

The decision saw the planning committee go against council officer recommendations.

Last week, the authority decided to drop its defence of the refusal after officers said their previous recommendation would “undermine” their case and that losing also risked legal costs of more than £50,000.

Instead, residents will fight the proposal at a hearing on June 15.

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