Harrogate Local Plan: Historic England voice concerns over development near Yorkshire church

A 20-home development proposed by North Yorkshire County Council's commercial property arm could cause permanent harm to a conservation area and a nearby historic church, according to a representative of Historic England.

The development of Yew Tree Farm in Marton Cum Grafton was raised as an issue by the heritage body's Ian Smith during the second week of hearings into Harrogate's draft local plan.Mr Smith said developing site MG8, which sits within the Marton Cum Grafton Conservation Area and has the Grade II listed Christ Church directly to the east, "would be harmful to the conservation area and the character of the setting of the church”.

“Our view was that this site really couldn't take any development at all without causing considerable harm to the character of this part of the Conservation Area," Mr Smith told the hearing. In response, Harrogate Borough Council planner Joe Varga said that council analysis had already seen the amount of dwellings planned for the site reduced from 30 to 20.

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Ms Varga said the council's conclusion on the site was that the scale and design of the new houses "complimented" the heritage setting surrounding it.She said the council had therefore taken the viewpoint that the development wouldn't cause "significant harm" to the site.

The first three weeks of local plan hearings came to an end this week. Picture: Lachlan Leeming

Brierley Homes, a housing company owned by North Yorkshire County Council, have lodged an application for the erection of 20 dwellings at the site, which includes the part demolition and part conversion of some buildings.

The application is yet to be approved by HBC.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter