Many of you will by now have seen in the newspapers that the Draft Local Plan report has been released by Harrogate Planners, ahead of a key meeting this Thursday. Members of the action group are attending that meeting to challenge its contents.

Disappointingly Harrogate Borough Council is still recommending Green Hammerton for the new town, despite an overwhelming  number of objections to this plan. However the actual proposed site for the 3000 houses is now more unclear than previously.

The Draft report says:

“At the Additional Sites consultation stage the Council identified the Green Hammerton option as its preferred location. Following submissions to this consultation, officers have reviewed all the very latest evidence (including material provided by the various promoters) alongside wider consultation feedback and consider that the focus should remain on the Green Hammerton option but introduce additional flexibility to enable a full consideration of adjoining land which has also been promoted as a new settlement (known as Maltkiln).It is proposed that a broad location for a new settlement in the Green Hammerton area should be identified in the Local Plan rather than allocation of an individual site or landownership defined boundary that has been promoted to date. (This) provides a further opportunity to consult on the most appropriate spatial and place-making approach, a site specific boundary, disposition of key land uses and relationship with existing neighbouring villages”.

The suggestion is that planners are considering incorporating the Maltkiln plan, or some part of it, into the final development, but that the Green and Kirk Hammerton and Cattal area is still very much their preferred site. It has made clear their continued rejection of the disused golf course at Flaxby or any other option.

This lack of clarity is not acceptable at this late stage and the Action group will be arguing that point to the Full Council when they meet to agree this Draft Local Plan Report.

If Harrogate Borough Council continues down this path, they ultimately need to satisfy the independent Planning Inspector next summer that a site in this area is deliverable and the right choice.  We have a very strong case that Green Hammerton is not the right place for these houses and will be reinforcing our arguments at that Examination in Public.

Flaxby Park Limited recently announced their own planning application to build the 3000 houses at the disused Golf course, signalling that they are still going to fight Harrogate Council over their preference and will no doubt also be submitting their own case to the Planning Inspector.

Chris Chelton

Chair, Keep Green Hammerton Green Action Group

Please keep up to date via our website: kghg.co.uk – Keep The Hammertons Green