A vision for a future Harrogate with the aim of people being able to afford their own home and live and work locally has been set out by the district council with the publication of its Local Plan.
It explains how development could be achieved over the next 20 years for a district that’s progressive, vibrant and a place where people wish to live, work and visit.
It tackles a number of significant issues including a lack of affordable housing which, unless managed, will force today’s young people to move further and further away from the communities they grew up in or stay away because they cannot afford to return.
Evidence collected as part of the development of the local plan also shows businesses in the district are unable to grow and struggle to recruit and retain local staff.
The plan suggests sites where new homes and jobs could be created and considers the infrastructure required to ensure new developments can be properly supported.
These include things like schools, shops, community facilities, open spaces and transport.
At the same time, the plan includes ways to protect and enhance the high-quality natural and built environment enjoyed in the Harrogate district, including important green space.
The ‘publication draft’ version of the Local Plan can now be viewed on, or downloaded from, the council’s website: www.harrogate.gov.uk/pdlp
Over the next few weeks, it will be considered by Cabinet, the District Development Committee and Full Council before a further public consultation in January.
It will then be submitted to government for examination by an independent inspector.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, cabinet member with responsibility for planning, said:
The local plan – alongside our economic growth strategy – has the potential to deal with several major issues facing our district.
Unless we create new housing and employment opportunities, we risk losing generations of young people to other towns and cities because Harrogate remains unaffordable.
We also need to support the growth of local businesses who currently struggle to attract and retain the talented staff they need.
Young people and businesses need to have confidence that their local council is planning for their futures and that’s what this document is all about.
We’ve listened very carefully to all the views that have been expressed during four consultations and those have been taken into account.
This version of the plan is the one which tackles the issues we face but also protects the unique character of a district which we all love and enjoy.
The Local Plan is designed to:
- Contribute to sustainable patterns of development.
- Support business, enterprise, and job creation to build a strong and sustainable economy that provides a range of employment and training opportunities, including a higher proportion of high-value jobs.
- Increase the new housing supply to address housing needs for all.
- Help deliver the infrastructure needed for a strong local economy, reduce the impact of transport on the environment and communities, and enable reliable journeys between key centres regionally, nationally and internationally.
- Manage the use of natural resources and address climate change.
- Provide quality environments that enable communities and individuals to enjoy an excellent quality of life.
- Safeguard the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
Like all other local authorities across the country, Harrogate has a responsibility to meet the district’s need for new homes and the Draft Local Plan identifies how these needs will be met.
Up to the year 2035, provision will be made for a minimum of 14,049 new homes including much needed affordable housing. The plan demonstrates how housing needs will be met through allocating sites and the development management process.
By 2035, the district’s economy is expected to grow by 1.9%, creating over 12,200 new jobs, and the plan considers how jobs should be distributed across the district. To support this growth, the Draft Local Plan makes provision for a minimum of 38 hectares of new employment land.
To help to achieve the required growth, the Green Hammerton/Cattal area has been identified by HBC as the most appropriate location for a new settlement. A broad location for growth has been proposed within which the new settlement will be situated. This will be subject to further consultation as part of a separate planning document.
In addition to allocations for new homes and jobs, the plan also allocates land for gypsy and traveller provision, local green space and educational needs.
Once the plan is finalised and adopted it will be used to manage development through the determination of planning applications, making clear where development is acceptable, and provide assurance for local communities that new development will happen in a planned and co-ordinated way.
- Wednesday 15 November: Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet invited to seek the council’s District Development Committee’s comments and recommendations on proposed content of the Publication Draft Local Plan.
- Wednesday 29 November: Any recommendations from the District Development Committee will then be considered by Cabinet.
- Wednesday 13 December: Full council decides whether to approve the Publication Draft Local Plan for formal consultation.
- January 2018: A six-week public consultation begins providing local community with the chance to have their say by formally supporting or objecting to the policies and proposals within the plan.
- Summer 2018: The plan together with consultation responses will be submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination by a government appointed inspector.