Campaigners fighting against the development of one of the main approaches into Harrogate have warned there is just “seven days left to save the Crimple Valley”!
In its latest blueprint for the future development of the Harrogate District, planning chiefs have earmarked fields behind Pannal’s Saint Robert’s Church as a potential site for 277 houses, plus 72 more adjacent to Spring Lane, further up the Crimple Valley.
Opponents to the plans claim the council is not taking into account that some of the land lies on a floodplain, a lack of infrastructure, the strain it would put on local primary and secondary schools, or the fact that more than 100 houses have already been approved for the former Dunlopillo site.
Howard West, Chairman of Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council said:
With the consultation process closing on Friday, August 25, those opposed to the allocation of this land for further housing and employment use have only a week in which to save the Crimple Valley.
And the overwhelming response from the PC’s survey of Residents’ views is against these proposals.
It is vital that those who are against these plans do register their concerns and comments. If not, then I truly fear the worst for these special landscape areas.
Pannal is a village, yet my view is the Borough Council won’t be satisfied until all the green spaces that separate us from Harrogate are concreted over.
The fields nearest to the Crimple Beck are water-logged for much of the year, yet the planners seem blinkered to this fact and are proposing houses are sited just 8m from the river!
The lack of a suitable road network is another issue, yet it doesn’t seem to have been considered.
Traffic from this development would have to exit the site via a bridge over the River Crimple onto the A61 as access and egress within the village of Pannal would be totally impractical, unsafe and make congestion permanent rather than mainly at peak periods.
It would appear the concept is to build houses on one side of the A61 and then provide employment for those residents across the road, although everyone knows it doesn’t work like that any more.
The result is likely to be a phenomenal increase in traffic along the already congested A61 and add to the daily gridlock in Pannal and Burn Bridge villages.
Mr West added:
Nowhere in any of the plans does the documentation mention infrastructure, in particular road traffic density, which is already more than the roads were designed for or can cope with.
While one appreciates the need to plan for further housing in the borough of Harrogate, the latest proposals are a knee-jerk reaction to an increase in projected numbers that at best are subjective and at worst just paying lip service to an assumed general increase.
The figures are unproven, unsafe and therefore unsound. HBC has failed to investigate other alternatives in depth but has opted either for development on land it bought in the 1950s or via landowners wanting to make a financial killing.
Those who wish to object on-line should visit the Harrogate Borough Council planning portal, found at http://consult.harrogate.gove.uk/portal. You can also object by sending an email (including your name and postal address) to: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy this to email@example.com.
The consultation process ends on Friday, 25 August at 4.30pm. Note, this is when the planners stop work for the weekend, not when they resume on Monday morning, so a whole weekend is lost for objections.