A unique collaboration of local resident groups, parish councils and local businesses have come together to challenge the draft local plan recently published by Harrogate Borough Council.
The group, made up of representatives from South and West Harrogate based parish councils, resident groups and key Harrogate based businesses have held an emergency meeting to review the current development proposals.
The group has raised concerns on the number of developments planned for the Harlow, Pannal Ash and Beckwithshaw areas of Harrogate with proposals for over 2600 houses equivalent to a new mini town. It plans to vigorously challenge the proposals as part of the consultation process.
A spokesperson for the group said:
This area has recently seen several housing developments approved for the area but no credible plans to improve the infrastructure. The congestion on Otley Road and surrounding streets and lanes are obvious for all to see but is often ignored, are the frequent power cuts, drainage issues, poor water pressure and the wider infrastructure needs for a sustainable community. The situation will only become significantly worse if these new developments are approved.
This isn’t a case of NIMBYISM but a case of common sense. Several alternative sites are available, such as Flaxby Village and Hammerton, that would not only would give links to major A roads but also have access to current rail lines. These should be the preferred options for the council.
A spokesperson for Cardale Park businesses added:
The Cardale Park area of Harrogate is the major employment hub, for not only Harrogate, but for the entire district with thousands of people employed around this campus. The current infrastructure and transport links are already inadequate with already some companies looking elsewhere when they expand. Any additional load on the area could be disastrous for the local economy.
Residents are asked to sign up for newsletters to keep in touch with developments and to post any relevant pictures and videos to support the submission. Information is being collated at www.hapara.org with Facebook and Twitter feeds being used to load views and evidence.
Residents are also being encouraged by the group to make their views known, particularly regarding current infrastructure issues, on the local plan available from the 11th Nov. Views should ideally be formally recorded online via the council’s portal at http://consult.harrogate.gov.uk