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Council confirms Green Hammerton housing plans

Council confirms Green Hammerton housing plans

Published at 1:51pm 2nd June 2017. (Updated at 4:26pm 2nd June 2017)

Council officers are set to recommend proposals for new housing in Green Hammerton. 

Yesterday, council members held a meeting to discuss Harrogate's Borough Council's Local Plan.

It's been looking at plans for a new settlement to meet housing needs, and the authority has indicated that Green Hammerton is the preferred location. 

It comes after a group of villagers vowed to fight any development plans in the area. 

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: "In November and December 2016, the council held a public consultation asking for views on the sites and policies contained within the draft Local Plan.  As part of this exercise, the council sought opinion on two options for the location of a new settlement - Green Hammerton or Flaxby.  Only one option will be taken forward within the Local Plan. 

"Officers have been reviewing the consultation responses and evidence for all new settlement options, including additional locations suggested at Deighton Grange and Cattal (known as Maltkiln), and are minded to recommend Green Hammerton as the preferred location to help meet the district's need for new homes and jobs."

Officers now want a six-week public consultation to be held and, if approved by council members, it will start on 14 July, before the plan is formally reported at a meeting of the full council later this year.

Locals living in Green Hammerton say they were told about the council's plans before yesterday's meeting, and have already formed an action group. 

Chris Chelton, Chair of Keep Green Hammerton Green, said: "Green Hammerton is not surprised to hear that this site is now being openly recommended by Harrogate Borough Council planners as their preferred site, but we are very disappointed.  Despite the council's denials yesterday, it corroborates the briefing given to their executive team three weeks ago and the contents of the e-mail released to numerous parish councils last week.

"This is the council that has inexplicably changed horses at the eleventh hour from a site at Flaxby that has long been recognised as the most suitable for a new settlement to Green Hammerton, a design which will link two village communities, lose acres of valuable crop-producing land, have enormous negative impact on the surrounding landscape and a rich variety of wildlife.

"Little wonder that residents of Green Hammerton and the nearby village of Kirk Hammerton speak of losing confidence in Harrogate council planners to objectively assess this issue. It is for that reason that we will be looking to our new MP to call for an examination in public of the case for a 3,000-house new settlement in Harrogate District.

"Only then will we be satisfied that a decision will be made, wherever it is, on sound planning grounds free of any local or political influence."

Nigel Avison, Director of Economy and Culture at Harrogate Borough Council, added: "It is important that we give people the opportunity to comment on the preferred location of a new settlement, as it will play a part in shaping our district in the future. Subject to agreement of the amended Local Plan timetable, this proposed public consultation will allow us to share the evidence underpinning our recommendation and to invite views before the final plan is reported to Full Council later this year. 

"I would encourage anyone with an interest in commenting on the proposed location for the new settlement or the additional sites for housing and employment to register their interest in taking part. They will be notified as soon as the consultation starts, be able to view dates for exhibitions, view the consultation materials, comment on them and read the opinions of other interested parties. 

"Comments sent in ahead of the consultation cannot be taken into account, so I would urge interested parties to ensure that they submit their comments during the six week consultation."

To register for the next Local Plan public consultation, visit http://consult.harrogate.gov.uk/common/register.jsp