Battle over housing plans in 'Gateway to the Dales'

Hampsthwaite

2:42pm 30th August 2017
(Updated 2:52pm 30th August 2017)

Hundreds of people have joined the fight to keep bulldozers away from a village near Harrogate.

More than 350 homes could be built in Hampsthwaite to help tackle a housing shortage across the district.

Angry residents from the village, which is often described as the 'Gateway to the Dales', have delivered a petition with over 500 signatures to Harrogate Borough Council.

They say that the authority's proposed Local Plan could effectively double the size of Hampsthwaite by developing housing sites on meadowland and fields.

The 'Hands Off Hampsthwaite Village' action group fears that more houses would destroy the heritage of the community and damage its natural landscape and wildlife habitats.

Chairman Terry Mounsey said: "It just seems a very negative thing to build houses in old villages. Look for new sites, look for brownfield sites and build houses that young people can afford.

"I accept that we need new homes for young people, but they have to be affordable - not the town houses that are currently being built in our village that cost between £500,000 and £700,000.

"Residents are outraged at these proposals and have been overwhelmingly supportive of the campaign to stop further development in Hampsthwaite.

"They have been shocked at the YouTube video available on our website which highlights the dramatic impact this proposed development would have on the unique character and landscape of the village."

Hampsthwaite

One of the proposed sites for housing in Hampsthwaite

Harrogate Borough Council has previously pointed out that new houses have to go somewhere.

Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: "We have a significant challenge, a need to provide 669 homes per year, from now until 2035. That is down to local need for new housing to support people growing up here, wanting to live here, but also our local employers needing to employ more local people.

"There will be sites all across the district and we know that various communities are very, very strong at standing up for what they believe to be right or wrong, and that is very welcome.

"We don't expect the existing infrastructure to cope with new houses. Developers do have to provide additional infrastructure or improvements to support their development."

More information about the 'Hands Off Hampsthwaite Village' campaign at www.hampsthwaiteactiongroup.com and on Facebook.

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