The proposed Flaxby Park site
The recent recommendation made by Harrogate Borough Council, on their preferred options for the council's Draft Local Plan, in no way shuts the door on ambitious development proposals for Flaxby Park.
When implemented these proposals will result in Flaxby Park, the 430-acre former golf course site, near Knaresborough, becoming a new and distinct settlement of the highest quality enhancing the economic and social fabric of the area.
Ray Mallon, spokesman for the owners of Flaxby Park Ltd, said:
"We have recently been informed by Harrogate Borough Council that Flaxby Park will not be recommended, as an option, for inclusion within the Draft Local Plan. This came as a surprise as our Planning Team have worked closely with Council Officers over the last year, preparing our Draft Local Plan representations, and the detail of an Outline Planning Application for the site
"Indeed, during that time we were actively encouraged by Officers to secure additional land and increase the scale of our proposed development in order to deliver 2,750 homes, two primary schools with associated medical , retail and leisure amenities. Not once, during our monthly meetings with Council Officers, was it suggested, that we were on the wrong track.
"We are aware that in almost every category, Flaxby Park scored higher than Green Hammerton on the evidence documented at the time the decision was made. There were no 'show stoppers.' If this had been the case, then Council Officers would have voiced their concerns. We have bought the site, we have done the planning and we have housebuilders ready to go.
"It is therefore a mystery why we have been overlooked. After serious deliberation, we can only conclude the rationale for reaching this decision is flawed. We hope that the councillors, led by Councillor Richard Cooper, will reject the recommendation or at least scrutinise its rationale in detail.
"As far as we are concerned, this is the beginning of a long process, as the Draft Local Plan will be examined by an Independent Planning Inspector, who will take into account all of the evidence before concluding on whether the plan is sound or otherwise.
"We are now considering our options, but we will continue to advance our case detailing the strengths of our site, to ensure that Flaxby Park will be included in the council's Draft Local Plan.
"We are in the process of completing an Outline Planning Application, which we intend to submit to the Council for consideration at an appropriate time with a series of Public Consultation events over the coming days.
"These events will give the community the opportunity to see for themselves what Flaxby Park Ltd can deliver, and will allow residents to ask questions and give feedback that will help shape our final proposals."
"Finally, we still believe in the fundamental strengths and qualities of our site at Flaxby. That is why we acquired it and that is why we continue to invest in it. We have no intention of walking away from this site.
"Although we seriously question the conclusions that have been reached by Council Officers, we will continue to work closely and constructively with them in advancing our proposals."
Further information can be found about public consultation events here.