Background

Harrogate Borough Council is in the process of preparing a Local Plan that will identify the land it believes is required to deliver the planned growth for the district over the next 18 years to 2035. As part of this process the council initially considered two options for the development of what is termed a new settlement comprising of around 3,000 new homes and associated infrastructure. 

The Draft Harrogate District Local Plan published for consultation in November 2016 identified two potential locations for this new settlement: Flaxby and Green Hammerton. Whilst the prospect of Flaxby, on the site of the now disused golf course, had been identified for some time, this was the first open indication that planners were considering Green Hammerton as a potential site.

In May 2017 as a result of a leak from Harrogate Borough Council, residents of this area learned that planners were recommending Green Hammerton as their preferred site. The prospective developers, Commercial Estate Group (CEG) had put forward plans for a site comprising 150 acres of prime agricultural land linking Green Hammerton and nearby Kirk Hammerton for development of the new settlement, in fact a new town roughly equal in size to Tadcaster.

Planners have since maintained the presence of two railway stations in the Hammerton area and some services, such as a surgery, small shop and an over subscribed primary school are justification enough for the Green Hammerton site being chosen. On the right is an extract from their reasoning taken from the HBC consultation website.

The Keep Green Hammerton Green Action Group has subsequently undertaken a campaign to highlight the many flaws in this recommendation, despite Harrogate Borough Council continuing to support CEG’s plan. A formal six week consultation period held in July and August 2017 saw HBC planners and CEG representatives share a formal consultation event at Green Hammerton Village Hall in a move that demonstrated the extent to which both parties were working closely together. Local residents attending the consultation event expected to see impartiality in our local government, but many regarded this as showing a bias towards the one developer CEG.

The consultation period closed on 26th August and HBC will soon release its draft Local Plan document, hopefully one that reflects the depth of public opposition to the a new settlement in this area. This will be subject of discussion at the Full Council meeting to be held on 6th December 2017.

This will be followed by a further period of consultation early in 2018, with a formal Examination in Public stage, conducted by a government appointed Planning Inspector, to follow in summer.

The final version of the Local Plan is expected to be produced early in 2019. Click the image below to expand the map of the proposed development.

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