News

Update from the Action Group, September 2019

posted 24 Sep 2019, 10:16 by KGHG Admin

On Friday 20 September 2019, the Action Group delivered by email and by hand, its formal response to the Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) consultation on the “Main Modifications” of the Local Plan and the changes to the “Sustainability Appraisal” of the possible sites for the 3000 house new town.

As well as the action group submission, we also delivered 892 response forms from local residents, and we know there will be many more response forms sent in directly to HBC by post and email. It is an impressive display by the public and it must be seen by the Council, and hopefully by the inspector, that there is an overwhelming rejection of what HBC wants to impose on our villages.

If you want to view The Action Group’s response, it is on our website www.kghg.co.uk - click the ‘Reports’ tab.

It is not entirely clear what the process will be from now on. However, we expect HBC will produce a summary of all the responses and send that, and the submissions, to the inspector for his assessment. The inspector will review this material and produce a report, possibly within two months.

It is our hope that the inspector finds our response valid and compelling and that it will encourage him to require the removal the new settlement from the plan. Or, if there must be a new settlement, that he will agree that Green Hammerton/Cattal is not the right location and recommend that HBC should select the Flaxby site. If, however, he remains undecided then we hope he listens to our call to extend the public hearings and allow us the opportunity to properly challenge the housing numbers and selection process so that we can finally convince him that there is no need for this new settlement.

We have also had further discussions with our MP Nigel Adams and he has advised us that he has sent a letter to the inspector, broadly supporting our position by outlining his concerns about the process and noting that HBC has not properly recognised the strength of public feeling.

We would like to thank everyone who competed a consultation response form and everyone who sent the action group their views on the consultation documents - many of the points were included in our submission. Finally, a huge thank you to all those who helped produce, print, distribute and collect all the villagers’ responses. It was a magnificent effort and it is really appreciated. If you require any further information then please contact the group via christian.eaton@btinternet.com 

Many thanks for your support

Keep the Hammertons Green Action Group 

Update from the Action Group, July 2019

posted 2 Aug 2019, 12:35 by KGHG Admin

Dear Friends

The controversial local plan is still undergoing its “Examination in Public” which is being conducted by an independent government-appointed inspector.  As part of the process, Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) was required to re-address its “Sustainability Assessment” of Green Hammerton and other possible sites for the 3000 house new town.

HBC did that reassessment (known as the SA Addendum) and we believe that the council has done a poor and biased piece of work.

The next stage is a formal consultation on the Sustainability Assessment Addendum. That consultation opened on 26 July and runs until 6 September.

The Action Group is now drafting a robust and compelling document which we will submit as our formal response to the consultation. This will be read by the inspector who, we must hope, will share our concerns about the poor HBC reasoning which has again chosen Green Hammerton when it is not the best site for the new town.

We are in very technical territory here and we do not expect that many residents will feel able to participate in this consultation in their own right but you may be assured that we will be doing our utmost to demonstrate to the inspector why HBC’s continued insistence on Green Hammerton as the best site is so wrong.

If you do wish to participate in the consultation individually, the various documents and consultation forms are being made available at public buildings across the district. Alternatively, go to

https://consult.harrogate.gov.uk/portal/pp/lp/2019_modifications/main_modifications_consultation

Please note that HBC recommends that representations are made by completing the Council’s Main Modifications Consultation Form which can be downloaded from the website. This is a very similar form to the one used in the March 2018 consultation and will require your response to be returned via email or in the post.

We will send out further advisory emails when we can. If however you require any further information in the meantime then please contact the group using this email address - christian.eaton@btinternet.com

Thank you for your support.

Keep the Hammertons Green Action Group 

Action Group “gravely concerned” with new settlement re-assessment process and lack of transparency over potential financial gains from development at Green Hammerton.

posted 1 May 2019, 02:35 by KGHG Admin


Leaders of the Keep the Hammertons Green Action Group (KTHG) have said they are “gravely concerned” about the fairness and independence of the Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) process under which the sites for a potential new town are being re-assessed. It follows the intervention by the government inspector considering the plan who has asked that all the potential sites be re-considered for their suitability. 

KTHG Action Group notes that the would-be developers of one of the possible sites - Flaxby Park - have publicly voiced their concerns about the impartiality of the re-assessment of the sites. They have written to HBC Chief Executive, Wallace Sampson, requesting that he appoints an independent third party, with no connection to the council, to perform the review which KTHG supports. 

Chair of the KTHG Action Group, Chris Eaton, said: “HBC has overstated the amount of new houses needed in our district and there are many ways in which the housing requirement can be met. But if a new settlement is needed, we have always said that Flaxby is the obvious location and Green Hammerton is demonstrably not sustainable.” 

At the public hearings into the HBC Plan, council representatives said that they would not change their minds about the selection of Green Hammerton as the preferred location for a major settlement. 

Mr Eaton continued: “It is outrageous that we have reached a point where the government inspector has required the Council to re-consider the possible locations and yet that re-assessment is being done by the same team that wrongly suggested Green Hammerton in the first place and who are on record as saying they won’t change their minds. 

“And all the while, the Council continues to spend taxpayers’ money on a supplementary Development Plan Document promoting the Green Hammerton area for major development even though the Inspector has called for re-assessment. We are gravely concerned that this is not a fair or objective process.” 

Furthermore, the Action Group has questioned the transparency of the relevant local authorities’ financial position with regard to the new settlement. 

KTHG Action Group believes that North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) stands to gain tens of millions of pounds if certain land at Green Hammerton in the area earmarked for a new settlement is developed. NYCC used to own the land and a condition of its sale a number of years ago was that if it was sold-on for development, NYCC would be entitled to receive a substantial proportion of the increase in the value of the land. 

Mr Eaton said: “It adds to the lack of objectivity and transparency. 14 HBC elected councillors are also elected members of NYCC which has a substantial financial stake in the choice of Green Hammerton. If this was any other form of business you would expect that to have been declared as an interest. Why has this significant matter never been openly addresses by either HBC or NYCC? 

“We call on HBC to do the decent thing by recognising there must be a lack of objectivity and fairness if its own team re-assesses its own work. It must appoint a third party to re-consider the sites.” 

KTHG Action Group notes that in major public consultations the choice of Green Hammerton has been objected to by nearly two thousand residents from across the district and, at the same time, no substantive and soundly-based justification for the choice of Green Hammerton has been provided.

Merrington Estates Objection Instructions

posted 2 Apr 2019, 04:26 by KGHG Admin

Please click this link to read a leaflet of instructions produced by the Action Group to help you to submit objections to this application. 

KTHG Village Updates, Mar-Apr 2019

posted 2 Apr 2019, 04:21 by KGHG Admin

Please click this link to read the latest update from the KTHG Action Group. 

KTHG Village Update Jan-Feb 2019, sent to residents by email

posted 31 Jan 2019, 07:50 by KGHG Admin

Click this link to read a copy of the email sent to residents on 30th January 2019 which provides and update on proceedings during the visit by the Inspector to Harrogate this month. 

York Press Article - Doubt over £12.5million scheme to improve train services between York and Harrogate

posted 31 Jan 2019, 07:30 by KGHG Admin   [ updated 31 Jan 2019, 07:35 ]

Click HERE to read an article published in the York Press regarding doubts over the ability to expand services on the York to Harrogate rail line. 

Examination in Public gets underway

posted 11 Jan 2019, 09:38 by KGHG Admin   [ updated 11 Jan 2019, 09:39 ]

https://docs.google.com/a/kghg.co.uk/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=a2doZy5jby51a3xrZWVwLWdyZWVuLWhhbW1lcnRvbi1ncmVlbnxneDo0N2IwMDkzOGM4ZTg3NTAz
Please take the time to read the attached which has been emailed and mail-dropped to interested parties. Click on the image to read the full text. 


KGHG Press Release, 23 August 2018

posted 30 Aug 2018, 07:22 by KGHG Admin

PROTEST GROUP SAYS IT’S TIME TO SEE HARROGATE’S LOCAL PLAN

Campaigners against plans to create a new settlement consisting of thousands of new homes near Green Hammerton, are calling on Harrogate Borough Council to state when its draft Local Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State.

The final consultation on Harrogate Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan, which proposes to build up to 3,000 new homes near Green Hammerton and Kirk Hammerton, was held in March.  The plan is now waiting to be submitted to the Secretary of State, so an independent Inspector can be appointed to scrutinise it.

Chris Eaton, co-chair of the Keep The Hammertons Green Action Groups, said: “Towards the end of last year there was a lot of urgency to conclude the draft Local Plan, over fears of potential central government intervention.  Harrogate Borough Council was under pressure but rushed it through in time to start the formal consultation in January.  However, since then, it’s gone quiet and the April deadline to submit the Plan to the Secretary of State is long passed and activity on the Local Plan appears to have stalled. And this is despite the Council letting a contract for some £100,000 to consultants to shore up the decision to choose Green Hammerton, post facto.  

“Our Action Groups are ready to challenge the draft Local Plan at the Examination in Public because the proposed broad location of the new settlement, somewhere in Green Hammerton or Cattal, is not right and the process to select this area was deeply flawed.  Plus, the proposal to build the development on Flaxby’s disused golf course, next to the A1, has been overlooked. Flaxby is, to any right thinking person, a better site on all grounds.” 

Chris added: “The Examination in Public of the draft Local Plan is the right forum for this matter to be settled. Until this happens there is a vacuum in the planning system and while we wait for the final version of the Plan, opportunistic developers are submitting outline applications, such as CEG’s Outline Planning Application for the development of up to 3000 dwellings at Green/Kirk Hammerton (Application number 18/02240/EIAMAJ).

“Self-evidently, they have done so without any approved Plan, because there isn’t one, but have capitalised on the draft Plan’s intent to site a new settlement in the broad location of Green Hammerton and Cattal.

“The Action Groups have now written to all Harrogate Borough Councillors (letter attached) asking them not to allow inertia, or fear of the big developer, to enable a new town to be created on open farmland via the back door. The letter calls on Councillors to suspend consideration of this, and other similar applications, pending finalisation of the draft Local Plan.”

Finally, Chris said: “Our letter also includes a formal objection, prepared by our retained planning consultant, to Planning Application number 18/02240/EIAMAJ. Our objections to this application and the choice of this area as the broad location for growth defined in the Harrogate Draft Local Plan under Policy DH4 are compelling and sound.

“The Local Plan is a major burden for the residents living in villages along the A59 corridor to the west of York, and we think the time has come to submit it to the Secretary of State and move the process on to a public examination.  We re-state our objection to the choice of this area but, if it is to be done, at least let it be done in the context of a properly tested and agreed Plan.”

ENDS

Please contact Chris Eaton, Co-Chair of the KGHG Protest Group, for more information on 01423 331 847 or email christian.eaton@btinternet.com




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