Flood fears halt 61-bed Knaresborough retirement home
A computer-generated image of the Knaresborough retirement complex plans.
A computer-generated image of the Knaresborough retirement complex plans.

Developers behind plans for a Knaresborough retirement home have been told to make the building smaller and move it further away from the River Nidd.

Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee today deferred a decision on the proposals for 61 extra care apartments near Grimbald Bridge after continued concerns were raised over flooding and the impact on local health services.

This was despite the Environment Agency and flooding specialists at North Yorkshire County Council raising no objections.

The developers, Adlington Retirement Living, also said there is “no record” of the site flooding and have agreed to pay £40,000 to help fund expansions at GP surgeries in the area.

However, local people claim the River Nidd has overflowed at the site as recently as February.

Resident Steve Benn told a meeting today:

“Although pictures on the planning portal show the land dry, the debris on the bank indicates that the site has recently flooded.”


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Mr Benn also claimed there are photos of the site flooded, but council officers said they have not seen any evidence.

Kate Broadbank, case officer at the council, said:

“We haven’t received any verified information that contradicts the applicant’s information which states the river did not overtop its banks on the site in either historic events or more recently in February.

“Irrespective of what has happened in the past, both the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority are satisfied that the application provides acceptable mitigation.”

‘Overload’ health services

The Wetherby Road development was refused last year before councillors voted for a deferral in March when the NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) lodged an objection.

The CCG previously said it was “extremely concerned” that another care facility in the area could “overload” local health services.

However, this objection has now been withdrawn after the £40,000 payment from the developers was agreed.

As well as this, Adlington Retirement Living have offered to pay for a new footpath connecting Grimbald Bridge as well as upgraded crossings after road safety concerns were raised by residents.

These proposals have been agreed in principle by highways officials at the county council.

‘It is too large’

Speaking at today’s meeting, Liberal Democrat councillor Pat Marsh said the retirement home amounted to “overdevelopment” of the site and that it should be reduced in size “considerably”. She said:

“It is the numbers that are being asked for on this site which are problematic.

“It is too large. If they want to do it, I would like to see them cut the numbers down considerably and move that building further away from the river.”

A revised application is now expected at a later date.


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