Cornwall Road, Harrogate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do we need new homes in Harrogate?

This is a national issue – not enough homes are being built right across the country. In 2013, the Borough Council had already identified a need for around 390 new homes to be built in Harrogate each year to meet local demand. This has now been found to be an under-estimate and the Council is reviewing its core strategy and looking for more sites.

How many houses do we need?

The Council is currently reviewing its core strategy to identify specific numbers – but the Council’s technical studies indicate between 520 and 620 per year. As the largest town and most sustainable location, Harrogate is expected to be the main focus for meeting housing needs.

How many houses are you suggesting for this site on Cornwall Road?

We have deliberately kept the low density of the surrounding area (i.e. the adjacent Duchy estate). This means ensuring lots of green space, wide streets, pedestrian walkways, cycle paths and layered landscaping, making up around 35% of the site.  We are therefore suggesting just up to 165 new homes on a 33 acre/13ha site.

What types of houses?

This is only an outline application at this stage, so the types and design of houses, together with the materials used, would be decided with the Council at a later stage if the scheme were to go ahead. Our proposals include a broad range to suit all lifestyles and requirements, from 1-bedroom apartments to 5-bedroom detached homes.  As a result of comments received during the public consultation, a greater number of smaller houses are now proposed.

Why here in Harrogate?

Harrogate is the largest and most sustainable town with good access to facilities and services. The Borough Council has previously identified this area to the west of the town as being potentially suitable for housing in its core strategy. It has put out a call for possible development sites and, as a responsible landowner in Harrogate for generations, the Duchy believes that it is acting responsibly in putting forward proposals which are sustainable and appropriate to this historic town.

Who will be able to afford these properties?

If our plans are approved, we will be required to make 40 per cent of the properties built here available to local people. These will be priced and controlled through a legal agreement to help local people get access to new homes

You can’t put affordable housing here, can you?

Locally affordable housing within new developments is national - and local - policy. We would work with the local authority to make sure that we build the right types of homes to make these affordable for local people. They will be built to the same quality as the market homes.

How will you make sure these houses go to local people?

A binding legal agreement will be used to ensure that the affordable homes are offered to local residents. Once built by the developer they will be transferred to a Registered Housing Provider who will ensure that housing is allocated in accordance with needs.

What about the increase in traffic?

This is obviously an important issue for local people. A comprehensive residential transport plan forms part of our application. We have also carried out extensive testing which looks at actual levels of traffic and traffic flows at the moment so that we have a clear and accurate picture of the potential impact of our proposals.   The predicted additional traffic from the new homes will be about 100 to 110 vehicles in each peak hour.  That’s around two vehicles every minute.

How do arrive at that calculation if every property has at least 2 cars?

Not every property will have 2 cars and not everyone uses their cars at the same time. We therefore use surveys of actual housing sites to understand how many car trips might be generated by this many homes.  This is an industry approved method and gives a more realistic indication of how much traffic there might be at peak times.  We will also be working hard to encourage green alternatives to car travel, including green footpath links, cycleways and public transport.

Won’t this make a very busy road even more congested/dangerous for local school-children?

Safe and appropriate access for both vehicles and those travelling on foot or by bike is a key priority for us and will be a critical part of our application. The Traffic Impact Assessment includes testing which identifies improvement measures to deal with local safety issues.  A financial contribution is proposed to provide table top surfaces and elevated crossings at the site access junctions to encourage slower speeds on Cornwall Road and to facilitate pedestrians crossing near Brackenfield School.

Financial contributions have also been offered towards offsite traffic management measures such as the Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) on the Otley Road.  This will considerably improve traffic flows in the area.

What about public transport, walking and cycling?

A financial contribution is being made towards the local bus service to enable a slight re-routing to ensure that the bus stops closer to the proposed development site and that it improves the peak hour services. This will be secured through a financial contribution.

A financial contribution is also proposed towards improvements to cycling/walking routes in the immediate vicinity of the site.

What about Birk Crag Girl Guides Centre?

Our proposals will help deliver an improved access to the Birk Crag Girl Guide Centre. This would allow the existing access (on a sharp bend) to be closed. We are also proposing a landscaped ‘buffer’ to enhance the privacy and security of the Girl Guide Centre. 

What about construction traffic in and out of the site? That will bemassively disruptive for a long time!

Should permission be granted we would expect the Council to require a construction management plan prior to a start on site. This could cover matters such as working hours, lorry routing agreements and phasing to ensure that disruption is minimised.

Isn’t the Duchy Estate a Conservation Area?

While this site borders the existing Duchy Estate it falls outside the Conservation Area. Our aim is to extend the existing Duchy Estate and provide a permanent, soft green edge to the south of the town. The design is in keeping with the existing character of the area.

Isn’t the site within a Special Landscape Area?

Nearly all of the land around Harrogate is a Special Landscape Area and therefore it is unlikely that this area can be avoided. Nevertheless it means that any development must have to have due regard to the surrounding countryside and natural landscape. That’s why we are proposing a low density development and significant landscaping in ‘layers’ right across the site to reflect what’s already there and minimise the impact of any new development.

Surely any development here will ruin the natural landscape and views across open countryside?

We believe that the extensive landscaping and screening we are suggesting (about 35% of the site), together with the low density of the proposed scheme and a layout which reflects the local topography, will help to mitigate this. What we are suggesting will in effect create a long-term green landscaped edge to the town for future generations.

Wouldn’t this put a strain on our local amenities (eg. doctor’s surgery, schools, etc.) and services?

The local authority would require a contribution of over £1m if this scheme were to go ahead specifically to fund local schools, doctors’ surgeries, recreational and other key amenities.  Once again, the impact of any development on local amenities and services would be a key consideration for the planning authority when considering an application and would be guaranteed through a legal agreement.

Our studies and discussions with local utility providers (water, electricity, etc.) suggest that existing services could cope with the level of increased demand without any further works being required.

What are the green spaces referred to?

Our plans include a generous green corridor, sustainable wildlife habitats and open spaces across 35% of the site. This would allow us to enhance the existing public footpath that runs alongside the site to other green routes into the town. We also want to improve the existing playing fields used by Brackenfield School to create a high quality facility and bring these up to Sport England junior standard. This will help create a ‘soft green edge’ to the Duchy Estate that will enhance the area and maintain the wide open character of the existing townscape.

Won’t the sports pitches only be available to Brackenfield School?

It is important that the sports pitches and pavilion provide a high quality facility for the school. Once provided there are significant opportunities for wider community use and this is something we will consider further. The development will also be making contributions to wider sports facilities in the area of about £200k. The extensive green space on the site will also be accessible to the whole community.

Won’t the sports pitches only be available to Brackenfield School?

It is important that the sports pitches and pavilion provide a high quality facility for the school. Once provided there are significant opportunities for wider community u

What has changed following public consultation?

Detailed responses to comments received from the public can be found in the Statement of Community Involvement document that accompanies the planning application. The key changes to the scheme following comments received are as follows:

  • Traffic management measures proposed now include traffic calming on Cornwall Road to slow traffic and to assist pedestrian and school children in safely crossing the road;

  • Financial contributions to re-route the X12 bus closer to the site and to improve its peak hour service;

  • Financial contribution towards improvements to cycling/walking routes in the vicinity of the site;

  • Financial contributions towards offsite traffic management measures such as the Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) on the Otley Road;

  • Increased number of smaller houses proposed within the centre of the site; and

  • An increased number of large playing pitches on site.

When would you expect to start on site (if application approved)?

This is only an outline application at this stage. If approved, it would then have to go forward as a more detailed plan specifying the types and sizes of homes to be built, the building materials used, any traffic mitigation measures required, etc.  This will all take time. As an indicative timeline only we would expect to start work on site some time in 2017.

When would you expect to complete on site/when would these houses be available?

This depends upon the detail of a full planning application which would be prepared with local stakeholders and on the advice of the planning authority. It is therefore difficult to say when the first homes would be available – but it would be unlikely to be before the beginning of 2018.





Planning application portal

Duchy of Lancaster main website


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