Case Study: 145 houses, Harrogate Borough Council

Background

  • Our client sought planning permission for 145 new homes on the edge of Boroughbridge, a town in Harrogate Borough.

Challenge

  • The site is located adjacent to a Registered Battlefield, the site of the medieval Battle of Boroughbridge.
  • The site is located between Boroughbridge and the village of Milby and concerns about settlement coalescence had been raised.

Solution

  • We undertook detailed political research into the views and allegiances of members of the Committee, identifying positive messages around the scheme that were likely to resonate with key members.
  • We produced and distributed a five-page briefing letter to all members of Harrogate Borough Council Planning Committee which outlined the key features of the proposal and the community benefits it would deliver, including major footpath enhancements. The letter presented the Registered Battlefield aspect of the application as a positive, describing how the development would protect the northern boundary of the battlefield and fund new visitor facilities. The letter also set out how the green gap between Milby and Boroughbridge would be maintained.
  • We followed this briefing letter with courtesy calls to members of the Planning Committee to make sure they had received the letter and to establish whether they had any comments or last-minute questions. We produced a detailed analysis of the responses made by members, providing our client with useful intelligence as they prepared for the Committee.

Result   

Determination was deferred by a month as Planning Committee members requested more information on highways and flooding. The Committee was assured by the extra information provided and the application was approved in April 2016, with members recognising that the proposals would enhance the Registered Battlefield and preserve the green gap between Boroughbridge and Milby.

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