A Message From Chris Chelton

How do you feel about the prospect of “Great” Hammerton? If you have read the developers outline document, you will know they propose to link Green Hammerton to a 3000 houses development that effectively means the end of our village. Their vision of a utopia where we welcome the new town, and share the school, surgery, roads and footpaths “in the initial phases” is to many people living here now an alarming prospect.

Great Hammerton is one of three prospective sites that could be chosen for this massive development, the other two being Flaxby and so-called “Maltkiln” at Cattal. Harrogate Borough Council will make a decision which site to approve at some point this year, maybe even by summer. It is only then that formal consultation will take place.

By that point that decision will be hard, if not impossible to reverse, and any consultation merely a lip-service exercise that will have little impact on the planners or developers. Any other action may be similarly futile, but I believe that if the majority of the village do not want Great Hammerton, there should be an outcry now. Better that planners and developers visiting or passing should be aware in no uncertain terms that it is an unpopular choice to latch 3000 houses onto our village, while the selection is yet to be made. Some form of protest may even influence the planners in their selection.

It was made clear at the last Parish Council meeting that Flaxby residents are already making their voices heard. We have done nothing and silence from the village might well be regarded as acquiesce or the path of least resistance. We need to start action now.

A group of residents is forming the nucleus of a protest group to start to coordinate some activity from the village, such as Banners and posters around the village and on the main junctions with yet to be decided slogans, a letter blitz from as many people as possible to key individuals such as the Chief Planner and borough council leaders, and trying to attract media interest in our stance. Hopefully we may get Kirk Hammerton residents who feel the same to act too.

Some of you may also want to get involved. We are open to views and ideas and there will be an opportunity to hear what you think, perhaps at a forthcoming Parish council meeting when we can gauge the level of support for these actions. There may be some who are open to the large settlement proposal, and we respect that view, however the survey conducted for the Redrow development indicated over 90% of respondents were against a large settlement in Green Hammerton. This would be 30 times larger, and many I have spoken to feel the village would be overwhelmed and absorbed.

This message is to intended to let you know that some of us are intending some form of protest actions, and we will do our best to keep you informed and get you involved if you want to do so. In the meantime if you have any thoughts or questions, even pledge support, I can be contacted at chris-chelton@hotmail.co.uk

Chris Chelton