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I have carefully read through the Inspector’s Report on your housing plan, and have been following all the comments on each edition of this plan that you have submitted to us over the years. I have attended all the building ‘exhibitions’ and listened to propositions made by many planners concerning a new settlement as an overflow for Harrogate.
There is no doubt that the current settlement on Flaxby Golf Course is the ONLY one that causes minimum disruption and achieves the early completion of a good mix of houses and facilities. The Inspector has NOT ruled this out.
In several places he indicates that he has trusted the decisions of the Council when they have selected a choice for where the New Settlement is to be built, and says he has not therefore compared the options himself, but taken their word for this. The reasons for some of these choices are highly disputed and we, the ratepayers of Harrogate have still NOT been given any valid explanations for them.
I refer in particular to the following points with regard to these two main settlements:
There already is access to the Flaxby Golf Course site(FGC) using a newly constructed island near the A1/A59 junction.
If the A59 Hammerton and Cattal(H&C) site were used, the A59 is shown to need major alterations in places, which has to involve closures, delays and great cost in time and money – as yet unspecified by council or builders and probably involving NYCC too.
The developers of FGC have prepared detailed designs and a budget for restoring the closed Goldsborough Station, which is on the same side of the A59 as the houses and this will be accessible on foot.
For new housing on the east side of the A1 (H&C), the nearest station is Cattal, which would require crossing over the busy A59, for which there is no provision in place.
BENEFIT TO TOWN SHOPS:
Residents at Flaxby who are west of the A1 would find it easier to visit shops in Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate, which is good for the Borough. Buses have already been planned and promised for this development.
Those who are east of the A1 are nearer to York city shops, and so may be of little support to our Town Centres. Public transport for them has not been identified.
TIME OF BUILD:
The FGC site has been ready to build for many months now, but its planning permission is on hold for no apparent reason.
The H&C site still has to organise the removal of the excellent nursery, currently on this agricultural site, before it can even begin to sort out its layouts and builders, even though outline planning permission has been given.
No evidence of adequate supply of water or electricity services for the H&C site has been given.
Before any such large-scale building begins, the Council should demonstrate that these are available and that they do not outstrip current supplies to any other part of Harrogate. Builders should not be allowed to proceed anywhere until the providers of these utilities can verify this.
It seems obvious that THE BEST LOCATION for Harrogate’s new settlement is
FLAXBY GOLF COURSE, and the Inspector has NOT VETOED THIS AT ALL!
Please consider this again before allowing the present favoured, futuristic and flawed proposition to go forward.
We need houses NOW and not sometime, never!
Thank you for your careful and personal consideration.
Best wishes from Mrs Beryl E. Dunsby