Councillors back plans to expand Howden by almost 1,900 homes

Councillors have backed plans to expand Howden by almost 1,900 homes along with a new relief road, school, medical centre and pub.

East Riding Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to approve JG Hatcliffe’s and Howdens Joinery’s application which also includes a new factory for the latter.

Jonathan Atkinson, of the developer, said it would be something the town could be proud of while Howdens Joinery could have to look elsewhere to expand if plans were refused.

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But Andrew Rose, speaking for an objecting landowner, said it was vague and premature while Howden’s Cllr David Howard said locals were suspicious of it living up to its promises.

An impression showing how the new Howden Joinery factory could look.An impression showing how the new Howden Joinery factory could look.
An impression showing how the new Howden Joinery factory could look.

Plans for the expansion would see somewhere between 1,600 and 1,900 home built north of the current town, on land between Station Road and Thorpe Road.

Councillors heard the final number would likely be around 1,865.

The outline plans passed by councillors sets out a masterplan parcelled out into smaller sites of around 200 homes each which would come forward in future applications.

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It would also feature a primary school, medical centre, care home, a pub along with a hotel and accommodation.

Green space in its south west corner would link it to the current town, along with new walking and cycling routes.

A new roughly 1.1-mile relief road costing £36m would be built between Station Road and Thorpe Road, with requirements for it to be open before any homes could be occupied.

Councillors heard it would cut the number of lorries travelling through the centre of Howden by 74 per cent and serve the expansion of Howdens Joinery.

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The company’s new factory would be built to the east of the development, creating an estimated 350 new jobs.

Four objections were lodged against the application but council officers recommended it for approval.

Howden Town Council also said they supported the application.

Mr Atkinson said the expansion was part of the company’s commitment to keep half of its manufacturing in the UK.

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He added the plans had been drawn up to respect the existing town.

The applicant said: “This expansion would support Howdens Joinery’s ambitious growth plans, any delay to this could result in a new factory being placed elsewhere.

“The benefits this development would bring outweigh any concerns about prematurity.

“Together we can deliver a development that people can be proud of.”

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But Mr Rose said the plans were coming ahead of the council’s draft Local Plan being adopted.

He added the draft Local Plan, which has earmarked Howden for the expansion in principle, had faced a number of objections.

Mr Rose said: “This is one of the biggest sites in the Local Plan, its a significant urban extension.

“But it’s unclear what will be achieved by this, a full relief road won’t be delivered, the scheme is vague.

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“This would grant open-ended permission with little detail, it’s unclear if it’s even viable.”

Cllr Howard said he supported the plans on balance but mainly because of the relief road.

But he added locals were wary given that previous developments had not delivered on what they promised.

The independent councillor said: “The relief road would be a major win for the town, people are happy with that but they’re suspicious about the development living up to its promises.

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“People have little faith in the process, that explains the small number of objections.

“We need to build more houses and these wouldn’t simply be just unaffordable exclusive homes.

“It’ll be a nice place to live, but Howden is already a nice place to live.”