Residents quiz councillor on local plans

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Over 400 local residents go together to debate concerns on the draft Harrogate Local Plan.

The event, organised by Harlow and Pannal Ash Residents Association (HAPARA), brought together a number of local resident groups, parish councils and local businesses.

Updates were given by Coun Burnett from Harrogate Council and Coun Mackenzie North Yorkshire County Council who also answered numerous questions from the audience.

The group has already raised concerns on the number of developments planned for the Harlow, Pannal Ash and Beckwithshaw areas of Harrogate with proposals for over 3,000 houses which it views as equivalent to a new mini town.

The event clarified that the number of actual houses needed for the district would need to increase by around 20 per cent with over 10,000 new homes now needed to be included in the new local plan.

Concerns on lack of infrastructure investment were also acknowledged in the meeting with specific concerns raised on the lack of capacity of Otley Road that is known to already to be over capacity at peak times.

A spokesman for the group said: “The huge turnout shows that residents are very concerned on the current draft local plan and the residents groups plan to keep the pressure on Harrogate Council for a more sensible solution.

“With confirmation that no current workable option to improve the already over capacity Otley Road it is becoming increasingly nonsensical to include over 3000 new houses in this area.”

The Association now covers a wide area from Harlow Carr to Arthurs Avenue to Rossett Green Lane and to Castle Hill and Whinney Lane.