Homes England, the UK Government’s housing agency, has acquired two development sites in Harrogate, unlocking more than 800 new family homes.
Both sites will have provision for 40% affordable housing, which is much needed to help demand in the area. The developments will also offer an opportunity to bring forward housing in an area with high affordability pressures and will help to meet local housing needs.
In Ripon, a 23 ha site named West Lane has outline planning consent for 390 new homes, including 156 affordable homes. It was allocated in the adopted Local Plan in March 2020.
The 28 ha Bluecoat Park site in Harrogate is also allocated in the Local Plan. It currently has outline planning permission for 450 new homes but this is due to expire this month and Homes England intends to submit a new planning application later this year.
Both sites have stalled for various reasons, including the associated enabling costs and planning permissions which are set to lapse imminently. The Government’s intervention will see these issues resolved and the delivery of homes which would not have come forward otherwise.
The acquisitions also highlight Homes England’s commitment to the area, following the planning submissions in September for the redevelopment of Ripon Barracks for up to 1,300 homes as well as local infrastructure including a primary school, sports pitches, a dedicated employment zone and local retail facilities.
Homes England will continue to work in partnership with the local authority as well as other local stakeholders on its plans for both sites over the coming months.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “This is fantastic news for Harrogate and a realisation of this Government’s mission to deliver quality, affordable homes, that are fit for future generations.
“I look forward to seeing the plans these communities develop take shape over the coming months.”
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