The independent government planning inspector who has been examining Harrogate Borough Council’s Local Plan has published his final report.
Richard Schofield concludes the plan is “sound” subject to modifications, published and consulted on in the summer of 2019, being made.
The inspector’s report says:
The plan’s strategy for growth and the delivery of new homes is positively-prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy.
It says the same for the council’s proposed approach to economic growth, transport, supporting infrastructure, the environment, and climate change.
Mr Schofield also references the following:
- The overall provision of housing (637 dwellings per annum) reflects a “soundly based assessment of the district’s housing needs”
- The principle and broad location of the new settlement are found to be sound
- Proposed housing allocations (as previously modified) are satisfactory
- The overall employment strategy and allocations (subject to a site reduction at Pannal are “sound”
- The plan meets all of the legal requirements, including a sustainability appraisal and duty to cooperate
- The inspector also concludes that exceptional circumstances existed to warrant the allocation of three permanent gypsy and traveller sites within the green belt
The publication of the inspector’s report is the final step in the public examination process.
It can be downloaded from the Harrogate Borough Council website along with the previously published main modifications.
The Local Plan will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s ruling cabinet on 3 March and at full council the following day.
The report highlights Green Hammerton as the preferred location for a new settlement, rather than Flaxby Park.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, cabinet member with responsibility for planning said:
I would like to thank everybody who has worked with us to help shape the content of the Local Plan.
This report is great news for the district.
An adopted Local Plan will provide certainty to development in the district, providing homes, jobs and infrastructure.
It will also reduce unplanned speculative development and ensure that the district’s green spaces, built heritage and community facilities are protected.