Flood fears could force Knaresborough nursing home to shrink

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Developers behind plans for a retirement home in Knaresborough have been told to downsize the building and move it away from the River Nidd.

Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee today postponed a decision on proposals for 61 additional care flats near Grimbald Bridge after continuing concerns were raised about flooding and the impact on services local health.

This despite the Environment Agency and North Yorkshire County Council flood specialists raising no objections.

The developers, Adlington Retirement Living, also said there was “no record” of the site flooding and agreed to pay £40,000 to help fund the expansion of medical practices in the area.

However, residents say the River Nidd overflowed the site as recently as February.

Resident Steve Benn told a meeting today: ‘Although images on the planning portal show the land to be dry, debris on the shore indicates the site has recently been flooded.’

Mr Benn also claimed there were pictures of the flooded site, but council officers said they had seen no evidence.

Kate Broadbank, council case officer, said: ‘We have not received any verified information which contradicts the claimant’s information which indicates that the river did not overflow its banks at the site during historical or more recent events. in February.

“Regardless of what has happened in the past, the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority are satisfied that the application provides acceptable mitigation.”

The Wetherby Road development was turned down last year before councilors voted to postpone in March when the NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) lodged an objection.

The GCC had previously said it was “extremely concerned” that another care facility in the area could “overburden” local health services.

However, that objection has now been withdrawn after the £40,000 payment from the developers was agreed.

On top of that, Adlington Retirement Living has offered to pay for a new footpath connecting the Grimbald Bridge as well as improved crossings after residents raised road safety concerns.

These proposals have been accepted in principle by the county council’s highways officials.

Speaking at today’s meeting, Councilor Pat Marsh said the care home amounted to ‘overdevelopment’ of the site and should be downsized ‘significantly’

“It’s the numbers that are being requested on this site that are the problem,” she said.

” It is too big. If they want to do that, I’d like to see them cut the numbers drastically and move that building away from the river.

A revised application is now expected at a later date.

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