200-home scheme at former police site in Yorkshire set for final go-ahead

Councillors will meet next week to consider giving final approval to the 200-home police training centre site in Yorkshire.

The plans, for the site on Yew Tree Lane in Harrogate, received outline permission in December 2021 but construction can’t begin until a second reserved matters application gets the green light.

These fresh plans deal with the layout, landscaping and appearance of the large 8.5 hectare site and will be debated by Harrogate & Knaresborough’s planning committee on Tuesday (Jan 30).

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The government’s housing agency Homes England is working alongside developer Countryside Properties to build the scheme. The plans have been recommended for approval in an officer’s report and would see 184 new homes built as well as several buildings retained and converted into an additional 16 properties.

This is the former police training site on Yew Tree Lane.This is the former police training site on Yew Tree Lane.
This is the former police training site on Yew Tree Lane.

Countryside Properties said 60 homes, making up 30% of the total development, will be classed as affordable. At one time 1,200 officers a year were trained a year there but the police moved out in 2011 after being told by the Home Office that it needed to make austerity-related cuts.

Access will be via the existing entrance on Yew Tree Lane. A cycle lane has also been proposed through the site for residents to use as well as a village green. Homes England initially won permission for 161 homes but it was increased to 200 after councillors agreed to let it build on former sports pitches, despite public opposition.

Former Harrogate councillor and Pannal Ash Junior Football Club life president Cliff Trotter described the move at the time as “absolutely scandalous”.

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To make up for the loss of sports pitches, the public body offered £595,000 towards Pannal Community Park on Leeds Road through a section 106 agreement that was backed by Sport England.

Eight objections have been received for the reserved matters plans, including from Harrogate Civic Society, Harlow & Pannal Ash Residents’ Association (HAPARA), Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council and Zero Carbon Harrogate.

Countryside Properties wrote in planning documents: “The development at Yew Tree Lane will provide an attractive, high-quality designed environment to live. The scale and character of the proposals will ensure that the scheme will contribute to and enhance the immediate and surrounding area.”

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