Apartments are picked out to bottom left, and bungalows bottom right. Credit: planning documents

Vistry wins through with Harrogate residential

The housing firm wants to build 184 new-build homes and convert existing buildings into 16 apartments at the former police training centre on Yew Tree Lane, securing consent after a lengthy debate at committee.

This is a committed housing site in the Local Plan, and with outline consent in place, Vistry Group company Countryside and partner Homes England sought reserved matters approval for the scheme, the conversion part of which concerns North Lodge, Headmasters House, Kensington House and Library.

The pans also include associated infrastructure, sustainable drainage system and biodiversity enhancement works.

Most of the buildings at the site have been demolished, various plans having come forward over the years for the location – an outline consent for 260 homes was given a decade ago.

Countryside has worked with a professional team including JRP, TEP, WSP and TPM.

North Yorkshire Council’s Harrogate & Knaresborough planning committee examined the plans on 30 January with a recommendation to approve.

Changes made since the scheme entered the planning system are the introduction of bungalows in place of two houses, and improved permeability of the public right of way through the site. The housing mix includes two three-storey blocks of two-bedroom apartments.

Some level of opposition remains over a site that has long been a matter of concern locally, with a parish councillor speaking at committee, as did the applicant.

With much of the committee seemingly unimpressed by what they had heard, the motion to vote in line with officer recommendation at first failed to find a seconder.  Cllr Philip Broadbank the suggested a deferral, although of the three grounds he requested further work on, only one could be pursued, namely the location of the play space. His motion also failed to find a seconder.

After some further debate, assurances were given by the applicant that local consultation over construction transport would continue, leading to a second being found, and ultimately, a four votes to one verdict being registered in favour of approval.

The affordable housing quote is set at 30%, and contributions will be made for on and offsite open space and sports facilities, along with education and highways infrastructure – the latter coming in at around £700,000.

The scheme number on NYC’s planning portal is 23/00259/REMMAJ.

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