Andrew Jones MP

“Call it in”: MP’s plea on Pannal flats proposal

27 September 2021

An application to demolish a semi-rural office building and build a taller apartment block in its place using permitted development rights has been criticised by Harrogate’s MP Andrew Jones.

The application is to demolish the old Dunlopillo building in Pannal and replace it with a taller apartment block.  The application is made under permitted development rights – these rights mean that the conversion of empty offices to residential can be done quickly, the issues that can be considered when deciding whether to grant planning permission are reduced and, because of the short timeframe for a decision, potentially without going to a meeting of the council’s planning committee.

If a decision on the application isn’t made within 56 days then planning permission is automatically granted.

Local MP Andrew Jones has criticised this attempt to use permitted development rights to get a large housing development through the planning process and is asking Harrogate Council to call an extraordinary meeting of its Planning Committee to ensure that professional council planners can put the issues before elected councillors and so the public can have their say.

Mr Jones said:

Permitted development rights are to enable positive development and apply in specific circumstances to achieve a specific goal.  I do not believe that these rights were introduced for the situation in respect of this development in a semi-rural location.

Such a significant proposal should go through the normal planning process, be thoroughly appraised by council officers and scrutinised by the councillors at a committee meeting where the public can also have their say.

Mr Jones has written to the Council’s Chief Executive making him aware of his concerns asking that a special planning committee is called before the end of the permitted development time limit for this scheme.  He has also written to Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities asking him to intervene should the council’s local planning powers not be sufficient to enable full scrutiny of the application.


  1. Why should we care about your concerns mr Jones, maybe you should concentrate on getting children fed and challenging the pain and suffering your party’s policies are causing!

  2. It sounds like a great idea to improve the area. Remove an absolute eyesore, and provide much needed housing for young professionals.

  3. Mr Jones is only any hood with pot holes. Hasn’t a clue how people at the bottom end of the food chain live. Nor does he care.

  4. In stead of knocking down ALL empty Buildings and rebuilding NEW ONES use them and CREATE Jobs and learning about LIFE and NATURE for Children and TEENAGERS.

    Also what about a DRUG REABILiTATION LEARNING CENTRE. So they can learn What EFFECTS they have on the hole body.

    It is stupid getting rid of good buildings when you can re- use them for other things.

  5. As a resident in the location, I agree with the concerns expressed by Mr Jones. It will have a huge impact on our village, with the increased traffic and pressure on amenities already stretched by current housing construction, as well as being an inappropriately large building for the village. It will impinge on privacy of neighhours. Parking is already at a premium.

    • You selfish person, they want to build 40+ flats if they were all 2 bedrooms at most that would be approx 300 think back to when Dunlopillow employed 300 plus on 24 hr shifts with the pollution of synthetic products, oh and this is not a village in this location. It does not impinge on the actual village of Pannal. It’s resting on the A 61 the area is almost industrial stop being a snob let’s have people who are desperate for starter homes in 1 and 2 bedroom flats it will not be a problem for parking as its 1 flat 1 parking spot. Also it’s on a rail network at this will help the people who have no cars etc.

  6. The replacement of the dunlopillo premises offices with high density private dwellings will add to increased traffic volumes which will be generated by the Belway new housing development situated next to it.

    In addition to this, further congestion will ensure with the loss of the Pannal village car park leading to railway commuters parking in the housing estates nearby.

    Traffic and pedestrian safety concerns aside, it’s a missed opportunity to replace this building with something more in keeping with the village.

  7. The development needs good quality affordable apartments, with lifts and balconies. The plans need to give easy access to the station car park for sustainable travel.

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