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Council won't fight 53-home Knox Lane planning appeal

Friday, 24 May 2024 12:14

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

The Knox Lane housing site in Harrogate.

North Yorkshire Council has confirmed it won’t fight a planning appeal for 53 homes at Knox Lane in Harrogate.

The Harrogate & Knaresborough planning committee refused the scheme in October but developer Jomast decided to appeal the decision.

A judgement on whether the homes are built is now in the hands of a government inspector who will chair a public hearing in July which could last four days.

Councillors gave three reasons for refusal which were an unacceptable impact on the local road network, a failure to promote sustainable travel and a negative impact on the special landscape area.

Normally at a planning appeal, the council would put forward an officer to defend the reasons for refusal.

But in a surprise move, the council has taken legal advice and decided not to contest these reasons.

The hearing will still go ahead and is scheduled to begin on July 23. Jomast has confirmed it will bring five experts to argue its case and say why it believes the refusal should be overturned.

Assistant director of planning Trevor Watson said in a statement:

“In October 2023 we refused planning permission for 53 houses at Knox Lane, Harrogate on grounds relating to highway matters, landscape impact and biodiversity issues. The developer Jomast appealed the decision with the planning inspectorate.

“The public inquiry to consider the appeal will take place from July 23, 2024 where all interested parties will be able to put their views forward to the independent planning inspector who will make a final decision.

“However, following external legal advice, members of the Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Planning Committee have decided not to contest the appeal.”

There have been more than 500 objections to the plans with residents claiming the development will destroy wildlife and a cherished green corner of the Harrogate suburb.

A spokesperson for campaign group Knox Community Conservation Group said members will be attending the public hearing.

They said:

“We are committed to working within the process and putting a strong case forward for the dismissal of the appeal. I’m confident that the local community will continue to fight this and will make their opinions known to the inquiry.”

Representations regarding the appeal can be made at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ with the case reference APP/U2750/W/24/3341645.

The final date for submissions is Tuesday May 28.

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