A plan for 350 houses which would have meant a total of almost 1,000 new homes being built either side of Penny Pot Lane has been refused by councillors.
Despite the pressure Harrogate Council faces to meet house building targets, councillors threw out the latest plans from Linden Limited and Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd.
The developers failed to secure outline permission for the site on Tuesday at Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee.
Speaking at the meeting Deputy Leader of HBC and Penny Pot Lane resident, Coun Graham Swift, said he was concerned about increased traffic on the single lane Oak Beck bridge and the detrimental effect on special areas of beauty including Birk Crag.
Coun Swift told councillors: “As with your defence of Cornwall Road, overlooking the same natural beauty as this application, Penny Pot Lane and the related Oak Beck are areas of Special Landscape and require continuous protection and defence. Failure to do this would simply open the challenge of other similar applications including that on Cornwall Road which you successfully and vigorously defended.”
He added:“My own bedroom window overlooks the single lane bridge over Oak Beck and it already can become clogged.”
“The plans for at least 600 homes (by Persimmon, off Penny Pot Lane) I know was approved under great duress and it will take a long time to see the impact of, and I sympathise with your decision.
“However North Yorkshire still has no idea what the impact of these 600 homes will be yet. Having seen the state of the traffic on the single lane bridge every day, I know we will one day have a severe accident there.”
Construction would have been carried out on 40 hectares of agricultural land, with houses concentrated in the north of the site towards Penny Pot Lane.
If the latest application had been approved, the total number of houses set to be built in the area could have reached close to 1,000.
Chair of the Duchy Residents Association, Richard Thomas, also raised objections to the application, saying the committee should consider the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to reject the Duchy of Lancaster’s appeal to build more than 100 homes on Cornwall Road.
He said: “I have lived in the district for 60 years. In an old guidebook I remember the views being called the most romantic we have.
“Fortunately the opinion was shared by the planning inspector regarding the Cornwall Road development. That aspect of the application he said was one of the most important.
“This is one of the great beauties of our district, and I am pleased that the committee recommended its refusal.”
Mark Johnson, for the developer, asked the committee to consider deferring the application, as discussions were still being held with North Yorkshire County Council Highways.
He also said the application was submitted due to a five year land supply for housing not currently being outlined. If the district's Local Plan is approved this would no longer be applicable.
All 16 councillors present at the meeting voted to refuse the application.