Harrogate Borough Council have said officers at are set to recommend proposals for a new settlement at Green Hammerton, the announcement have left the Keep Green Hammerton Green campaigners disappointed and a little bemused.
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 new settlement option will be taken forward within the Local Plan, this does not mean the other developments would not go ahead, they would need to apply for planning permission separately.
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 have said they are minded to recommend Green Hammerton as the preferred location.
Alongside this, officers are also likely to recommend that additional sites for housing and employment uses be included in the local plan in order to meet changes to housing and employment needs emerging from a review of the evidence base.
As a revision to the Local Plan timetable, officers will recommend that an additional six week public consultation be held. If approved by council members, the consultation will commence on 14 July 2017, and will give the community and key stakeholders an opportunity to have their say on the additional sites, including the proposed location of the new settlement, before the plan is formally reported at a meeting of Full Council later this year.
Nigel Avison, Director of Economy and Culture at Harrogate Borough Council said: 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.
Keep Green Hammerton Green chair Chris Chelton: 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 email 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 3000 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.
The Oakgate Group are looking to develop a settlement around the Cattal train station.
Richard France, Managing Director of the Oakgate Group commented: Maltkiln offers a unique opportunity to create a sustainable new settlement, set around the existing train station at Cattal, that would not encroach on the character of existing villages and offers many benefits that the other sites cannot.
Throughout the Local Plan process we will be providing more information to the Council and existing communities in the surrounding area to demonstrate how choosing to locate a new settlement at Cattal would be by far the best option for the existing communities and how it also offers the most potential for meeting a wide range of housing needs in Harrogate Borough.