Report of the Assistant Director – Planning.
20/01333/FULMAJ - Full Planning Application for 53 No. Residential Dwellings with Associated Parking, Public Open Space And Landscaping (Amended Submission) at Land Comprising Field at 429829 457681 Knox Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire On Behalf Of Jomast
Land Comprising Field At 429829 457681 Knox Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
The Assistant Director Planning sought determination of a planning application for 53 residential dwellings with associated parking, public open space and landscaping (Amended submission) at the land comprising field at 429829 457681, Knox Lane, Harrogate.
The Chair welcomed Adele Laurie-Wilson to the meeting and invited her to read out her public question as follows:
“Dear Planning Committee Meeting members
I wish to raise a question in relation to point 5 on the agenda, regarding the proposed development on Knox Lane.
The planning application at point 5 is made in relation to an area that has been designated in the local plan under policy NE4 as a “Special Landscape Area (SLA)”.
In the past, a planning application was made by an owner of a small portion of this land within the SLA, which is adjacent to 53 Old Trough Way. The application was to change its use from agricultural to domestic residential, no building was proposed.
The planning application was refused by Harrogate Borough Council on the basis of the SLA nature.
The owner appealed the council’s refusal and the case was taken to the Planning Inspectorate.
On 9th March 2022, The Planning Inspectorate, upheld Harrogate Council’s decision to refuse the change of use. I quote – The main issue is the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the Special Landscape Area and countryside. The Planning Inspectorate notes that “the proposal would be in conflict with policies NE3 and NE4 of the Harrogate District Local Plan March 2020 and the National Planning Policy Framework.”
The proposal at point 5 is also in contravention of the explicit condition in the Northern Powergrid letters posted on the council planning portal dated 15 February 2022 and 2 September 2022. Both letters say “Please note ground cover must not be altered either above our cables or below overhead lines...”. I note the planning proposal has the service road passing directly under the power cables in two places.
My question to the committee is: How can the proposed development at agenda point 5 be recommended for approval by the planning officer when there is already a precedent of domestic development being refused, not only by the local council, but also the Planning Inspectorate on this land in the same area of Special Landscape Area (contravenes NE3 and NE4), as well as it being in direct contravention of Northern Powergrid’s condition that no ground cover directly under the power cables is altered?”
In response, Nick Turpin, Planning Manager confirmed the following:
In terms of the appeal decision which relates to planning application 21/03235/FUL (APP/E2734/W/22/3290226), it should be noted that the site falls outside the residential allocation area and is beyond the development limit for the Town.
It does fall within the Special Landscape Area (SLA) and sits adjacent to part of the current application area under 20/01333/FULMAJ. It is important to note that no residential development is proposed on the area of land adjacent to the appeal site (it is limited to the site allocation, which falls within the Development Limit for the Town). The area in question will form part of the biodiversity enhancement and landscaped area. It will not be domestic in appearance, nor contain domestic paraphernalia, for which the Planning Inspector dismissed the appeal for the domestic garden extension and should not compromise the character of the SLA and countryside in this location.
I now turn to the second part of the question, which relates to the Overhead Power Lines. Members will note that page 42 of the report includes an informative from Northern Powergrid. This states as follows: -
“Please note ground cover must not be altered either above our cables or below overhead lines. In addition no trees should be planted within 3 metres of existing underground cables or 10 metres of overhead lines. All our apparatus is legally covered by a wayleave agreement, lease or deed or alternatively protected under the Electricity Act 1989. Should any alteration / diversion of our company’s apparatus be necessary to allow work to be carried out , budget costs can be provided by writing to Network Connections, Alix House, Falcon Court, Stockton on Tees TS18 3TU Tel. 0800 0113433.”
Following receipt of this public question, Officers have gone back to Northern Powergrid who have re-iterated that they have no objections to the proposed plans. It is not unusual for roads to go under power lines. Officers consider the informative to be appropriate and as the Overhead line is covered by separate legislation outside of planning law, the developer will have to progress with satisfying National Power, before moving forwards with the development should permission be granted.
As a supplementary question, Adele Laurie-Wilson queried why the SLA was not seen as part of the area of the 20/01333/FULMAJ planning application.
In response, Nick Turpin
part all of
the 20/01333/FULMAJ application site was indeed within the SLA but
advised that it was also a Local Plan allocated site
part of the site the subject of the
planning application was also a site allocated for residential
development within the development limits of the Town. No
residential development was proposed on the SLA itself and
subsequently the appeal relating to the 21/03235/FUL application
was a different scenario before the Planning Inspectorate at the
time as it related to a SLA outside of the development limit of the
Local Plan land outside the development
limits as part of application 20/01333/FULMAJ. Therefore, the appeal relating to the 21/03235/FUL
application was a different scenario before the Planning
Inspectorate at that time, because that proposal related to a
change of use of land to domestic use within the SLA,
outside of the Development Limits identified in the Local Plan.
The decision –
That the planning application be DEFERRED for the following reason:
(Stephen Readman and Damian Bowen spoke objecting to the application.)
(Councillor Paul Haslam spoke on the application as the Division Member for Bilton and Nidd Gorge.)
(The applicant’s land agent, Steve Hesmondhalgh, spoke in support of the application.)
The recommendation that ‘planning permission be approved in principle and delegated to the Assistant Director for Planning to be granted subject to conditions and the completion of a S106 agreement’ did not receive a seconder therefore the motion fell.
It was subsequently moved and seconded that the application be deferred for a further report regarding land contamination to include further sampling including sampling specifically in the area of the former railway line. On a vote being taken, three Members voted for, one voted against and there were two abstentions. The motion to defer the application was therefore carried.