Residents may recently have received a leaflet from the property developer, Commercial Estates, with an invitation to attend public exhibitions of plans to build 290 homes on agricultural land on the northern side of Skipton Road. This is land to the right hand side of the Skipton Road, which is currently farmland opposite Saltergate School.
The consultation will be run:
- 29th November 2012 – 5:30pm to 8:30pm
- 1st December 2012 – 11am to 2pm
Commercial Estates Projects (CEP) have also given the following contact details for those wishing to comment.
t: 08448 425 270 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saltergate County Councillor, Don Mackenzie, said:
Harrogate Borough Council recently approved for public consultation a development plan for the whole district, in which are listed preferred sites for houses and businesses. For Harrogate there are three greenfield sites, all to the north or west of the town, including the farmland to the north of Skipton Road, which could provide up to 290 homes.
I voted against these proposals, and will keep up the fight to ensure that the town’s housing needs continue to be provided by previously developed land in the town. In fact, the district’s Core Strategy, the blueprint for planning and development for the period 2008 – 2023, clearly sets out “to seek the use of appropriate previously developed land within the District’s six largest settlements in preference to developing greenfield land.
In the last ten years, under a Conservative administration, far fewer homes have been built in the district than when the Liberal Democrats ran the council – between 400 and 500 a year compared with well over 900 in 2001 when the LibDems were in charge of what came to be known as the Concrete Council.
I recognise that there is a need for more homes, for local residents to buy or rent at prices, which they can afford. On the other hand, these homes must be built in sustainable locations, preferably on brownfield sites within the town, and close to public transport and other services and amenities.
The proposals by Commercial Estates are premature. There may come a time – many years from now – when all brownfield options have been exhausted, and when we need to use the open country. We are not there yet by a long way, which is why I will continue to oppose any plans to extend the boundaries of our town.
Please also make your views known to Don or his ward colleague, Steven Jackson.