Every so often, the council consults its electorate about where it should put all the homes it’s expected to build.
Between 2008 and 2012, Harrogate Borough Council set itself a target of 390 houses a year, but in 2011-12 just 152 were built. As a result of the shortfall, the target for the next ﬁve years was increased this year to 420 houses per year.
Most of the house-building options revolve around a few large – and hotly-disputed – sites dotted around the district, yet another little-discussed route would be to encourage the building of new homes on land carved out of large gardens.
The disparaging term for this is “garden-grabbing”, and one of the first things David Cameron did on becoming Prime Minister in 2010 was to crack down on it, redesignating gardens as greenfield, rather than brownfield, sites.
At the time, communities minister Greg Clark said it was “ridiculous” that vital green space was being lost.
Fast-forward three-and-a-half years, and planning minister Nick Boles reminded us that Britain needed to build 270,000 homes a year – around twice the previous rate – and said that many of them will have to be on greenfield sites. Presumably, that includes all those newly protected gardens.
While the planning see-saw tips one way and then the other, the fact remains that local authorities are still perfectly at liberty to grant permission for development where they deem it appropriate.
The following four properties all come with redevelopment opportunities – as well as giving the buyer the chance to do their bit to help ease the housing crisis.
The development plot at 2 Spruisty Road is in an enviable location off Ripon Road in Harrogate, just down from the Duchy estate and within walking distance of both the Hydro and the town centre.
It covers about a tenth of an acre and has full planning permission for a three-bedroom house – to be built to the side of the existing terraced house – with front and back gardens and parking.
It is informally estimated that the new property would realise about £175,000 when re-sold.
On the north side of the River Nidd in Birstwith, 2 Station Plantation comprises a detached four-bedroom stone-built bungalow and land with potential building plots.
The house, which comes to around 2,000 square feet in area, is in need of some refurbishment, while the land previously had outline planning permission.
At Melmerby, Wensley View is a detached bungalow in gardens of nearly a quarter of an acre. There is planning permission – dating from June 2012 – to substantially alter and extend the existing property to create a four-bedroom detached house and also to build a new four-bedroom detached home in the garden to the side.
Finally, 40 The Oval consists of a four-bedroom detached family house occupying a sizeable plot in a sought-after part of Harrogate.
The property could either be extended to create a modern family home, or, alternatively, planning permission has been granted for redevelopment of the plot to provide a substantial new house extending to approximately 4,750 square feet over four floors.