Knaresborough housing site should be reviewed under local plan, says councillor
Last updated Jan 6, 2023
Site layout for the 170 homes on Water Lane, Knaresborough, as submitted to Harrogate Borough Council.
The site layout for the 170 homes on Water Lane, Knaresborough, as submitted to Harrogate Borough Council.

A councillor has called for land earmarked for homes in Knaresborough to be reviewed under the council’s new housing plan.

North Yorkshire Council is set to draw up a new local plan when it comes into force in April. It will outline where development can take place across the Harrogate district over the next 30 years.

But Andy Bell, who sits on Knaresborough Town Council, has called for land at Water Lane in the town to be “questioned” after it was previously allocated for housing in Harrogate Borough Council’s Local Plan.

The site was subject to a 170-home proposal last year, but it was thrown out by the government’s Planning Inspectorate on appeal.

Cllr Bell, a Liberal Democrat who spoke against the application at the Inspectorate hearing, said the new council should “think again” on the development.

He said:

“There have been four developments within a few hundred metres of this site recently, three of which are still under construction.

“We can not lose what makes Knaresborough special by allowing development if it is not right for the physical site or the community. This is not a no to all development.

“The Water Lane development had huge issues with access, no public transport provision, and was far too close to the neighbouring site of special scientific interest.

“It has been rejected at all levels of the planning process. It’s time to think again and question its place in the local plan.”

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The Water Lane site is currently allocated for 148 homes under the current Harrogate district Local Plan 2014-2035.

The creation of a fresh local plan for North Yorkshire was agreed by senior councillors last month.

The new local plan will look ahead for a minimum of 15 years, and at least 30 years in relation to any larger scale developments, such as new settlements or significant urban extensions. It would encompass all areas of the county outside the national parks.

Conservative Cllr Simon Myers, executive councillor for growth and housing on the county council, said:

“The plan will be vital to the new North Yorkshire Council’s ambitions to deliver sustainable economic growth, through good homes and jobs, as well as the best facilities and infrastructure for everyone who lives or works in the county.

“Planning guidance will also play a key role in meeting our ambitious targets to tackle climate change. In addition, it can support other services in meeting the needs of our many communities at a local level, taking into account everything from transport and education to housing, health and social care.”