Letter: Local Plan - Time Pannal took its fair share

Aerial view of Pannal
Aerial view of Pannal
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Much has recently been written about the proposals in Harrogate Council’s Draft Local Plan to locate new housing and a travellers’ site in the vicinity of Pannal.

It would seem from your reports (December 15) that Pannal Conservatives are leading the protest, followed up this week by the parish council; it should be noted however that this is a Conservative plan sponsored by a Conservative cabinet member.

Your correspondent, Keith Kershaw (Advertiser, December 22) queries why the travellers’ site should be on the approach to the town from Leeds. Why indeed?

But equally, why should it be on the approach from Skipton, Ripon or Knaresborough?

Mr Kershaw goes on to suggest the Tesco site at New Park would be more appropriate. This ignores the fact that the Pannal site is already in council ownership whereas a different location would have to be funded by the council tax payers.

The location of a travellers’ site will always be contentious but we are required by government to provide this facility. The south side of town has seen much less development in recent years than most other areas, with huge residential developments at Cardale Park, Pennypot and the Skipton Road already given planning consent.

To the north east, Bilton residents are already organising opposition to proposed by-pass routes and further to the east, Knaresborough has a major housing development planned at Manse Farm.

Perhaps it is time that Pannal took its fair share of development, including the travellers’ site.

Matthew Webber

Harrogate