Potential buyers eye plans for ‘Opulence Street’

FOR sale: five houses in Yorkshire’s most expensive street, equipped with everything from an underground swimming pool to a vintage car garage, and a snip at £1.75m each.

This week, five new houses in Harrogate’s Fulwith Mill Lane have been advertised in what is being described by estate agents as the most expensive and exclusive development ever built in the spa town.

And far from balking at the eye-watering price tag, people have been rushing to buy one of the new homes, which have not yet even been built on the greenfield site.

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Within 48 hours of being advertised on property website Rightmove, the properties received 17,500 hits.

While Harrogate estate agent Beadnall Copley, which is marketing the properties on behalf of a local developer, has already received a deposit on one, and is in negotiations regarding two more.

Nick Hudson, director at Beadnall Copley, told the Yorkshire Post he was not surprised at the flurry of interest in the properties, despite each one costing at least 84 times the UK median wage.

“It is probably the only development at this price in Harrogate ever,” he said. “I don’t think anything else surpasses it.

“Also there will not be any new development like this on Fulwith Mill Lane again – there is no land.

“For the last four years it has been the most expensive street in Yorkshire. There is nothing that commands the prices that Fulwith Mill Lane does.

“We have got other good roads in Harrogate such as Duchy Road, but this is an exclusive enclave.

“Certainly there are houses this opulent in Harrogate, but we have not had a development of this opulence and size.”

One of the reasons why house hunters are thought to be so keen to buy one of the new properties, is because the houses are not yet built. Buyers will consequently be able to specify exactly what mod cons they come equipped with.

So far, potential buyers have asked about the possibility of installing underground swimming pools, wine cellars, gyms, cinemas and an underground garage for a collection of cars.

The basic size of each three-storey property is 4,500sqft.

“It just depends on how people want to live,” Mr Hudson said.

“At this stage, people can specify to us exactly what they want.”

Outline planning permission was granted for the new development on Fulwith Mill Lane by Harrogate Borough Council in May last year, despite a storm of protest from residents on the street - which has an average house price of £1.2m – because it included three affordable flats for the over- 55s alongside the proposed five luxury detached homes.

In order to address a critical shortage of affordable homes in Harrogate, the council insists new developments need to provide a mix of affordable and private housing.

But despite the original landowners the Stanley and Audrey Burton Charitable Trust, offering to build double the amount of affordable housing elsewhere in Harrogate as part of the development, planners insisted the flats are also built in Fulwith Mill Lane.

Members of the Fulwith Residents’ Association – which includes residents in Fulwith Mill Lane, Fulwith Drive and other addresses on the “Fulwiths” – said, however, the site is unsuitable for affordable homes because of its distance from shops and public transport.

Harrogate falls within Yorkshire’s so-called “Golden Triangle”, which also includes Knaresborough and Wetherby, and boasts some of the most sought-after postcodes in the North for househunters.

The average value of a house in Harrogate has risen by more than £1,100 a month for the last decade.

A recent investigation, by Lloyds TSB, found that the average house price has more than doubled since 2001, from £127,386 to £264,113.