Land option acquired to ensure quality of development

Flaxby Park Limited, the company planning to transform an abandoned North Yorkshire golf course into a vibrant new settlement, has acquired an option agreement for further land, which now brings the total land for development to approximately 440 acres.

In April 2016, the company acquired 280 acres of land west of junction 47 of the A1(m) that was formerly Flaxby Golf Course. Now the company has acquired an option agreement on a further 160 acres of land to the north of the golf course, for housing and leisure development.

At a public meeting last night (Mon Aug 15) Ray Mallon, spokesman for Flaxby Park Ltd., outlined the development proposal and answered questions from many residents from the surrounding area.

The meeting, at the Bay Horse Inn, Goldsborough, was organised in order to keep local people up to date with the plans for development and followed on from the public meeting Mr Mallon attended in May of this year.

Mr Mallon said: 'We have always been clear that this would be a sustainable development with a range of housing and community facilities, with open green space and in keeping with the local area.

'I have also indicated that we would engage parish councils and the public, so that the community as a whole can contribute to our thinking in taking the development forward.'

Mr Mallon explained that the number of houses built determines what community facilities can be included on any development.

'In order to reach the level of housing at which a new primary school, health centre, shops and other community and leisure facilities can be included, we will need to build 2,500-3,000 houses', he said.

'There is a balance to be struck between, building sufficient houses to support community facilities and ensuring a lower density of housing in keeping with the quality of the development.

'To build 2000 plus houses on the golf course site would not fit with our plans for high quality housing options, nor would we want to build fewer houses with no community facilities.

'As a result, we have acquired an option agreement on adjacent land to the north of the golf course site. This will enable us to reduce the density and increase the range of housing options available, whilst also including integrated community facilities, within a high quality park setting.'

Flaxby Park Ltd has already submitted their planning representation to Harrogate District Council for officers and members to consider.

The document outlines a community settlement, with a central hub featuring shops, primary school and other community buildings, cafes, bars, restaurants, medical and leisure facilities.

A range of high quality homes will radiate outwards from the central hub, within a landscape featuring parkland, cycle and footpaths, water features and retained woodland.

Homes will cover the full spectrum of housing need, including affordable and starter homes, family homes, high value executive homes and self-build plots, as well as a dedicated retirement village with lifestyle support.

Plans for a new rail halt to link with the existing Harrogate to York/Leeds line and a park and ride scheme are also being progressed.

Having considered Flaxby Park's representation, and any other representation submissions from other parties, Harrogate District Council will then outline their preferred options for development, which will be included in the council's Local Plan. Harrogate requires over 13,000 new house builds over the next 20 years or so to accommodate the area's housing need.

Mr Mallon added: 'This is an evolving situation and from the start of this process I have made it clear that we will keep the public updated about our plans, at every step of the way.

'We believe that our proposals for the site are compelling and we are confident that the Council will give serious consideration to our site being included in the Local Plan as a preferred option.

'In the near future the Council will undertake a period of public consultation in relation to the Draft Local Plan. We look forward to assisting in this process by engaging the public, so that they are involved and have a stake in our plans for the Flaxby site as a whole.'