Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News


25 Nov 2020 by Steve Wright - Candid PR

The developer behind plans to transform a disused golf course near Harrogate into an exciting and sustainable new community has spoken of their delight after winning a Judicial Review challenge against Harrogate Borough Council.

The developer’s plans would see 2,750 new homes built on Flaxby’s disused golf course as well as a retirement village, two primary schools, a GP surgery, sports facilities, a hotel and a new village centre. Almost 50% of the site will consist of green space and Goldsborough Railway Station will be reopened offering direct rail services to Harrogate, Leeds and York. 

Chris Musgrave OBE, chief executive at Flaxby Park Ltd, said: “Flaxby Park Limited (FPL) are delighted that we have been successful in winning our Judicial Review challenge.

“FPL instigated the Judicial Review proceedings in the belief that Council Members of Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) had unlawfully adopted the Local Plan. This was the primary ground for the Judicial Review challenge.

“We are pleased that Mr Justice Holgate has upheld our legal argument and has ordered the Local Plan to be ‘remitted’ back to the HBC Cabinet and then Full Council, so that both forums can consider whether the Local Plan should be adopted or not, in the light of information, which should have been shared with Elected Officials in March 2020, when the Local Plan was unlawfully adopted.

“HBC did not take into account vital information such as the Sustainability Appraisal and the detail of the consultation process. As a result, the Councillors did not have all of the relevant information which would allow them to form a sound judgement on the merits of the Community Settlement issue.

“Council Officers have a duty to provide Council Members with the fullest information and this has not been the case. As a result, the decision making of Elected Officials in the context of Flaxby Park has been flawed.

“Over the past four years FPL have consistently complained that Council Officers had not provided Council Members with the fullest information in relation to our planning proposals, but our complaints have always been dismissed out of hand by the relevant Council Planning Officers - we can consider this to be an abuse of power and authority.

“The judgement by Mr Justice Holgate has confirmed that HBC acted unlawfully by adopting the Local Plan and we note that an order has been made by the Judge for HBC to pay their own legal costs as well as a proportion of the costs incurred by FPL. This speaks volumes as to the validity of our successful legal challenge.

“This Judicial Review and the financial costs to the tax payer could have been avoided if HBC had been willing to ‘listen’ - they failed to do this and we hope the ‘culture’ within the Council will change as a result.”