On 4 March the council passed the new Local Plan for the district that has already started to deliver benefits to Knaresborough. Cllr Samantha Mearns, who represents the Scriven Park ward, campaigned hard against a proposed development of 175 homes on an agricultural site off Bar Lane. Despite not being a site earmarked for development it was originally given approval subject to agreeing developers contributions.
Thankfully, negotiations with developers were delayed, by which time the local plan had been examined by the Planning Inspector. The Chief Planner decided to take the matter back to committee in September with a recommendation for refusal. Cllr Mearns again spoke against the development and this time the Planning Committee refused the application.
Knaresborough Councillor, Samantha Mearns said: “Meeting the government’s targets for building new homes has been challenging but now that we have the plan in place we can defend speculative development. I am delighted that the Planning Inspector has supported the Council’s position and particularly pleased that the Inspector recognised the importance of the Little Pastures Riding School to Knaresborough. I hope this will enable it now to continue without its livelihood being adversely affected.”