Traffic fears in Beckwithshaw over plans to build 780 homes


Last updated Sep 15, 2021

Haverah Park & Beckwithshaw Parish Council has raised concerns that a major housing development on Otley Road will significantly increase traffic through the village.

Planning consultants Johnson Mowatt has released details of a 780-home development and new primary school that could be built on Otley Road, less than a mile from Beckwithshaw.

The Windmill Farm development would be the largest housing scheme to be built in Harrogate for many years. It would dwarf Beckwithshaw, which has a population of 400.

Cllr Derek Spence, chair of the parish council, told the Stray Ferret he expected residents of the new development would drive through the village to get to Otley and Bradford, or Leeds via North Rigton.

He said:

“Our overriding concern is traffic through the village, it’s increased quite remarkably over the last decade. The development will make the situation worse.”

Harrogate Borough Council is drawing up a West Harrogate Parameters Plan, which is a document assessing the transport and infrastructure needs associated with plans to build up to 4,000 homes on the western side of Harrogate.

Mr Spence said local residents’ groups would like to see the plan published before any further decisions are made on the Windmill Farm development. He said:

“It’s been massively delayed. It’s almost a year late. We want some public involvement.”

Read more:

‘We don’t want to be NIMBYs’

Windmill Farm is allocated for development in the Harrogate district Local Plan, which outlines development in the district until 2035. This means the battle over whether it will be built has effectively been lost already and the debate is more about the amount and type of homes plus infrastructure.

Mr Spence said the parish council hoped the new homes reflected the character of the surroundings. He added:

“We don’t want to be NIMBYs, we respect the fact that people need somewhere to live.

“We want the village of Beckwithshaw to retain its influence rather than be subsumed into a massive development. Our little community wouldn’t be the same.”

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