Harrogate councillors approve controversial 210 homes plan with 'a heavy heart'
A highly controversial development which will "extend the town of Wetherby" has been approved by Harrogate councillors who claimed they had to grant permission "with a heavy heart".
The application by Hallam Land Management for 210 homes just off Harrogate Road at Stockeld has been met with hundreds of objections since it was submitted to the council.
In August, the application went before Harrogate Borough Council's planning committee who voted to refuse it primarily on the lack of secondary education provision.
But at the end of that meeting the committee were told by HBC's legal officer that they would have to take the vote again, after receiving information in exempt session.
Taking the decision again yesterday, (September 25), all of the councillors present and eligible to vote on the matter opted to approve the application subject to conditions.
Before taking the vote, Councillor Pat Marsh (Lib Dem) said: "We have to do this, if we push ourselves into refusing this, we put ourselves at risk of showing that we are not a planning committee that takes planning policies seriously or takes a light touch.
"It's not something we want to do and I doubt whether the people of Wetherby wanted the Bellway development either. It's something that none of us want to see, these huge extensions to our towns.
She added: "Like my fellow councillors this is one that I am going to have to support but I do it with a very heavy heart."