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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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