Planning Committee decides to “defer” decision on Penny Pot Lane

14 January 2014

The many members of the public who sat through two hours of questions and debate on the planning application for 600 homes on Penny Pot Lane were perplexed by the final decision to defer the application.

During the course of the debate, it seemed clear that a big majority would reject the application on the grounds of inadequate highways arrangements, including the choice of a bus-only route via Orchid Way, and prematurity ahead of the public examination of the council’s submission of its Sites and Policies DPD by a government inspector.

Following advice from the legal officer in attendance, members were warned of the risk of appeal by the applicant in the event of refusal or deferral.

The committee voted for deferral, for the application to come to the same committee, with different highways proposals.

Don Mackenzie
Don Mackenzie

Don Mackenzie. who spoke to the committee to urge refusal, said: I am afraid that my ward residents and the wider public will be unimpressed with the unsatisfactory conclusion to the long debate. They expect open discussion, clear argument for and against, and a transparent decision. What they got was whispered discussion between planning officers and the compromise of a vote to defer back to the same committee. One is left to wonder what the 2 hours of debate had achieved, and exactly how open and transparent are the planning authorities procedures.

One also has to ask what is the purpose of the deferral. Committee members expressed such fundamental dissatisfaction with the highways arrangements that it would seem impossible for this application to come back with sufficient changes not to constitute a new planning application. Members should have voted to reject, as they seemed to wish to do, and left it in the hands of the developer to think again.

1 Comment

  1. After reading this article I cannot begin to understand the sense in allowing this development to move forward. This area of Harrogate simply cannot cope with the expected increase in traffic, which based on 600 houses must result in between 900 and 1200 new cars travelling on this minor roads.

    Already there is long delays on Pot Bank into Beckwithshaw and Harlow Moor each morning due to commuters and school traffic, with even the smallest disruption the resulting congestion is impossible.

    Living on the Queen Ethelburg’s we will be the most significantly effected by the development but there will be knock on effects to business, as commuting becomes harder businesses will begin to look elsewhere to develop there businesses, there will be accidents on the minor roads as traffic resorts to ‘rat runs’.

    However if North Yorkshire Council had made the investment in the 1970’s/ 80’s in the road infrastructure including the completion of the northern bypass , then Harrogate would be a better place all round, from Skipton Road to Leeds Road.

    Its simply a case of the area’s infrastructure from roads to drainage; from schools to landscape not been able to cope, threatening the very reason Harrogate is the place it is.

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