New Town Consultation Update: nearly 600 objections!

Plus New Lane/Green Hill plans re-submitted…please object

There was a brilliant response to the Harrogate Borough Council draft plan consultation with nearly 600 response forms objecting completed by local residents and delivered to the Council before the 9th March deadline.  There were also objections filed by individuals independently of the campaign.  This amazing response from our communities has sent a very clear message to HBC and the Planning Inspectorate that the proposal for the ‘Great Hammerton’ new town is flawed and should not proceed.  This development is not needed, it is not wanted and the fundamentals behind it are unsound.  Thank you to everyone.

Your campaign team also submitted a group response supported by your petition. This document can be viewed on Reports page of the Group’s website www.kghg.co.uk   It was the culmination of a huge amount of work by many people and makes a very good case for why the draft Plan is ‘unsound’ and not legally compliant.

We would also thank Richard Raper, our planning consultant, who researched and collected data and prepared his own detailed analysis and report as part of our response.

Where do we go from here? 

It is tempting to sit back and let the official process run its course with the Independent Planning Inspectorate, but we must not.  We have to keep up the momentum – by lobbying key parties and by continuing to build our evidence base so we are ready to appear in front of the Inspectorate at the public examination of the plan. 

We need to continue to work with Richard Raper to assist and support us, but we are now very short of money.  Please help us to build on the good work already completed by donating to the campaign.  Donations can be made either via our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/keepthehammertonsgreen    or by sending donations direct to our new treasurer Sally Newman at 6 South View, Kirk Hammerton, YO26 8DT or by direct bank transfer Acc. No. 61312768, Sort Code 30-91-92.  To those who have already helped us – we thank you on behalf of all our communities.

Your Campaign Team will be meeting soon to decide our strategy and approach for the next phase and we expect to issue a further newsletter outlining our plans.  We look forward to keeping the fight going – for our communities today and the generations of tomorrow.

Village Survey

A key part of the Campaign Team response was the output from the village survey.  The detail of this is included in the formal response on the web site but the highlights include:

• 93% of residents do not support the proposed new settlement.

• Nearly 80% of the population use their cars to get to work completely undermining the HBC assertion that the railway is a viable alternative to car commuting

• In terms of shopping and social/leisure activities, the front runners were Boroughbridge for supermarket shopping and York for high street shopping and social/leisure. In short it meant the new town will do little to support economic activity in the Harrogate/Knaresborough area. 

David and Goliath

This really is a David and Goliath battle.  Not only do we have to challenge HBC who, as originators of the plan, hold all the cards, but we also have to contend with the well-resourced, profit-driven developers.  The would-be developers are CEG for ‘Great Hammerton’ and Oakgate for ‘Maltkiln’ (Cattal). There is no clarity however because the Draft Plan did not define any boundaries and simply showed a large area around the Hammertons, Whixley and Cattal which could be developed. There could therefore be a combination of the two proposals. This lack of certainty was at the heart of our objections. However, whatever is proposed will be unacceptable because, if a new settlement on this scale is needed – which is highly doubtful – this is not the best location.

The Draft Plan is not yet in force but the Hammerton developers, CEG, have already submitted a planning application for 3000 houses – known as ‘Great Hammerton’. We must continue to challenge these proposals on legitimate planning grounds.

In a further twist which has caused local outrage, HBC is now advertising for consultants to be hired on a £100,000 contract to help it do more detailed work on the new settlement in advance of the public Examination. Leaders of the campaign group think it is morally wrong and disgraceful for HBC to spend our Council tax money on trying to shore up its position in the face of overwhelming local opposition.

New Lane Development – please write and object – deadline 26th March!

As well as the big threat of a new town, other unwanted piecemeal development threats continue. Loxley Homes has returned with a revised application for the green field site off New Lane, Great Hammerton – this is the field on the left as you leave the village and drive towards York on the A59, just by the crossroads by Springbank Surgery.   

The number of houses planned has reduced from 92 to 80 but little else has changed.  When the original proposal was submitted there were 175 objections.  Let’s do better this time – please retrieve your objection from 2017, refine it where appropriate and re-submit it to HBC by the 26th March – and please don’t leave it too late, people who recently tried to object on the final day were not able to lodge objections on-line, which proved very frustrating as it was then too late to use the post.  If you weren’t able to submit an objection last time, please submit a new one – the reference of this application is 17/01446/OUTMAJ – you can object on-line or write via the post, quoting this reference to: Harrogate Borough Council, Planning Department, Civic Centre, St Luke’s Mount, Harrogate, HG1 2AE Remember, every member of a household can object and each counts as an individual objection.

We’ve seen what can be done when a community pulls together so let’s ensure that this application gets consigned to the recycling bin once and for all. 

And finally…

Our aim is to deliver another newsletter in early April which will give us an opportunity to share with the group’s revised strategy and approach following the completion of the consultation process.  In the meantime, if you would like to contact the team please e-mail us at kirkhammerton.kghg@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support

The Team at Keep Green Hammerton Green

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