162-home Kingsley Drive developer to pay £1m towards local schools

Persimmon Homes will pay more than £1m to local schools including Grove Road and Harrogate Grammar School after North Yorkshire Council gave final approval for the 162-home Kingsley Drive development.

One of the last acts of Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee in February was to approve the controversial plans, subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement.

The agreement between the council and developer has now been agreed and covers Persimmon’s contribution to public services that the future residents will use such as education, roads as well as affordable housing.

According to a report written by planning officer Kate Broadbank, Permimmon will pay £600,000 to Grove Road Primary School, £400,000 to high schools HGS, Harrogate High and Rossett and £120,000 for early years provision.

The developer will also pay £220,000 to the NHS for healthcare costs, £150,000 towards Kingsley Drive being resurfaced and an £80,000 contribution towards a new mini roundabout being buult at the junction of Kingsley Road and the A59.

The site is allocated for development in the Harrogate local plan, which maps out where housebuilding can take place in the district and remains in use until North Yorkshire Councils agree its new county-wide plan.

The Kingsley proposals were unpopular with local residents who protested outside the Civic Centre before the planning committee meeting wearing t-shirts branded with slogans like “enough is enough” and “breaking point”.

Many of the objections centred on nearby roads like like Knaresborough Road and Bogs Lane and how they will cope with the increased traffic from new residents.

Around 500 homes could be built in the area if plans by different developers are eventually built.

Persimmon has included two access points for vehicles on Kingsley Drive, one to the west of Birstwith Road and one midway between Leyland Road and Rydal Road.

The first 92 homes will include air source heat pumps to provide 100% of the heating and hot water.

The remaining properties will have conventional gas boilers, however, the developer says these will be supplemented by solar panels and waste water heat recovery, which recycles energy in wastewater to pre-heat the mains cold supply before it is boosted by the boiler.

The scheme would also include 65 affordable homes through a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership sales.

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter