Letter: Housing - Progressive, not piecemeal plan

Paul Ashfield writes: Housing - Progressive, not piecemeal plan
Paul Ashfield writes: Housing - Progressive, not piecemeal plan

The north and west of Harrogate is to be significantly expanded, hundreds of houses and a Tesco store have been granted planning permission (much of this results from HBC loosing control of the planning process).

These will further overload our already stretched infrastructure, roads, schools, healthcare etc. Open landscape, beautiful views and outdoor amenity will be lost forever.

The character and rural aspect of Harrogate is bit by bit being transformed, loosing its pleasantness and charm.

It is in danger of becoming a congested suburbia like those of Leeds and Manchester.

Little has been done over the last 50 years to update our early 20th century infrastructure to one for the 21st. A massive catch up is required.

An updated Local Development Plan is being prepared by HBC which should address development, transport and infrastructure needs in a coherent way, doing away with piecemeal uncontrolled “happenings”.

The current housing planning permissions granted now satisfy the government target so HBC can regain control and stop opportunistic developments.

Who is going to live in these houses? Many will be from West Yorkshire and elsewhere who will work out of the district but are attracted to Harrogate.

They will thus increase commuting and congestion from and to Harrogate. Few will be local first time buyers.

So now is the time to halt this unplanned piecemeal approach. HBC should reject the proposed 165 house development in Cornwall Road and any other proposed opportunistic developments.

Wait the updated Local Development Plan and its approval. Let’s have local control and coherence and ensure future plans will keep Harrogate special and attractive to inhabitants and visitors, yet be “progressive”.

Those who share these fears could at this stage object to all unapproved inappropriate developments and speak with local councillors.

Paul Ashfield

Duchy Road, Harrogate