Residents of Queen Ethelburga’s may recently have read about a public consultation event organised by Signet Planning, on behalf of Persimmon Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd and Hallam Land Management, concerning plans to build up to 600 homes on land north of Penny Pot Lane, to the west of the Queen Ethelburga’s estate.
The development is still in the initial proposal stage and rides rough-shot of the Harrogate Borough Council’s planning strategy, defined in the district core strategy.
The core strategy is developed in consultation with the general public and has an objective of considered developed of the area. The strategy protects the district from developers developing as they wish, as developers are directed to work within the framework of the core strategy and develop in areas directed in the strategy.
The consultation will take place in the Sun Pavilion, Cornwall Road between 2pm and 9pm on Thursday 24th January.
Saltergate County Councillor, Don Mackenzie, said:
This proposal is the latest in a series of plans by developers for this site, and follows on from a decision taken a few weeks ago by Harrogate Borough Council to approve 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 and west of the town, including farmland to the north of Skipton Road, which could provide up to 290 homes, and fields to the north of Penny Pot Lane, to provide 500 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 under the previous Liberal Democrat regime – between 400 and 500 a year compared to well over 900 in 2001 when the Liberal Democrats were in charge, and when development seemed to be out of control.
I recognise that there is a need for more homes, for local residents to buy or rent at prices, which they can afford. This need has been increasing in the last four years, when the annual rate of house building throughout the district has fallen as low as 150 in 2011. On the other hand, I believe that any new 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 Persimmon and Hallam Land 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.
You can make your views known by means of the contact details below.
Contact County Councillor Don Mackenzie: tel 01423 872211, mob 07957 304109, firstname.lastname@example.org