Plans to build two luxury homes in the grounds of what was once Harrogate’s grandest home have been refused for the third time by Harrogate Borough Council.
The planning committee voted to refuse Jason Shaw’s third planning application to build luxury homes last Thursday (May 14).
Coun Pat Marsh (Lib Dem, Hookstone) has sat on the planning committee all three times an application to build in the ground has been put before the council and said the committee would like to see a holistic approach to the Pineheath site.
She said: “We have visited the site a number of times, we know it well and that proposal didn’t fit the site at all.
“It would mean cutting down trees which have replaced those illegally felled which are protected by TPO and the homes were too big for the site.
“We have got to make sure that any buildings don’t overshadow Pineheath, we would like to see a holistic approach to the whole site, house and grounds together.”
A total of 12 councillors voted to refuse permission to build two five-bedroom homes, complete with gym and games rooms, with just one abstention.
Councillors concluded that the development would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the Duchy Estate conservation area and that the same amenity value must apply to the replanted trees as would have applied to the trees that were illegally felled.
Mr Shaw, who paid £2million for the 40-room building which had stood untouched for decades in 2013, was fined £24,000 by a court last July for illegally chopping down trees.
This week also saw the council refuse an application to fell two large sycamore trees by the estate entrance, but permission to cut down ro replace other trees on the site has been granted.
Coun John Mann (Con, Pannal) said: “The main reason for refusal was the size of the two homes and how much space they took up on the plots
“We just thought they would dominate the area.”
Neighbours have expressed concern over the current state of Pineheath, which has been vandalised and had windows smashed.
The mansion was once owned by Harrogate’s wealthiest family, the Bomanjis.