Both sites will have provision for 40% much needed affordable homes, helping to meet demand in the area. The developments will offer an opportunity to bring forward housing in an area with high affordability pressures and will help meet local housing needs.
In Ripon, a 23 ha site, known as West Lane, 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 currently 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 will see these issues resolved and the delivery of homes that would not otherwise have come forward.
These acquisitions further highlight Homes England’s commitment to the area, following the planning submission in September for the redevelopment of Ripon Barracks for up to 1,300 homes as well as local infrastructure including a primary school, sports pitches, a dedicated employment zone and local retail facilities.
Homes England will continue to work with the local authority as well as other local stakeholders on its plans for both sites over the coming months.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:
“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.
“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 said:
“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.
“We have a strong relationship with Harrogate Borough Council, and we look forward to working with them on our plans for the two sites.”
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.”