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WATCH: Harrogate's Local Plan passes latest hurdle

WATCH: Harrogate's Local Plan passes latest hurdle

Published at 6:10am 14th December 2017. (Updated at 12:08pm 14th December 2017)

Councillors have voted to back Harrogate's draft Local Plan at a passionate meeting last night.

The document is central to the district's plans for the future, allocating land for both housing and employment.

At the meeting, held at Harrogate's Royal Hall, councillors voted 37 to 6 in favour of the Local Plan, with three abstentions.

It will now progress to the next stage, with a further public consultation due in January before a submission can be made to the planning inspector next year.

All amendments proposed were defeated.

Several councillors said they would vote for the Local Plan to go to the next stage, as it was important that the district had a local plan.

But they said they reserved the right to campaign against certain aspects of it in the future.

Councillor Rebecca Burnett told the meeting "measures will be included to protect the character of villages in the Green Hammerton area".

Councillors arrived at last night's meeting to face protests from campaigners opposed to the allocation of land near Green Hammerton for 3,000 new homes.

Chris Chelton, Chair of the Keep Green Hammerton Green action group, spoke to Stray FM before the meeting:

 

After the meeting,  Chris Chelton said: "We were not surprised that the council approved the draft Local Plan, as it was made very clear that failure to do so would result in decision-making for building going to central government and Harrogate losing control, however, we were delighted and encouraged by several councillors speaking out against the 'Great Hammerton' option for the same reasons we disagree with it - irrevocable loss of prime agricultural land and unsustainable with no infrastructure, excess traffic on a very busy A59, no local jobs and the potential damage of ancient villages and close communities.

"Many councillors, whilst supporting the Local Plan to allow the process to move forward, were very vocal in disagreeing with many elements of the plan, with several sites across the Harrogate region being the subject of objection during the meeting.   

"We were told by the councillors to keep campaigning, as the process now goes back for public consultation and will come before the Independent Planning Inspectorate, which we fully expect will identify the many flaws in the proposals and support our objections."

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