Homes England has acquired two development sites in Harrogate in a move that the national housing agency hopes will unlock land for over 800 new family homes.
In Ripon, a 23 ha site has outline planning consent for 390 new homes which will include 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 has an outline planning permission for 450 new homes which 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 due to lapse imminently. The Government’s intervention aims to resolve these issues.
‘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,’ said the housing minister, Christopher Pincher.
‘I look forward to seeing the plans these communities develop take shape over the coming months.’
Stephen Kinsella, chief land and development officer, Homes England commented: ‘By purchasing these two sites, we’re once again showing our commitment to step in, unlock land and get new homes built where they are most needed.
‘Following unsuccessful attempts by the market to deliver these sites, our intervention means these homes will be delivered sooner and with high standards of design.’
He added: ‘We have a strong relationship with Harrogate Borough Council, and we look forward to working with them on our plans for the two sites.’
Responding to the announcement, Trevor Watson, director of economy and culture, Harrogate Borough Council, said: ‘We welcome Homes England’s involvement in seeking to bring forward and unlock these stalled sites.
‘They are important in helping to deliver our strategic objective to provide new homes that meet the needs of the district.’