Harrogate Lib Dem leader backs Kingsley residents over heavy trucks and house building
The leader of the Lib Dem opposition at Harrogate Borough Council has backed the complaints of residents over the disruption and potential 'danger' caused by more than two years of new housing developments in one of the town's most built-on urban areas.
Residents in the tightly-packed part of town between Kingsley Road and Bogs Lane near Knaresborough Road first began protesting about a series of new housing developments nearly 30 months ago.
Kingsley Ward Action Group, which was set up in 2019 by residents to fight developers' plans, say the lengthy list of new housing in the same area by different developers in what was once greenfield space is ill-judged and ill thought-out in regard to the consequences for the entire area near Harrogate High School and Bilton fields leading to Nidd Gorge.
They claim the end result of the wave of new housing there will be hundreds of more cars feeding existing traffic congestion on nearby Knaresborough Road
Kingsley Ward Action Group also claims local residents have had to cope with hundreds of heavy truck movements a day on narrow residential streets, bringing noise, pollution, dust and potential danger.
And they say a recent alleged incident involving a heavy truck and a small car at the junction of Wreaks Road and Kingsley Road where the car suffered damage, proves that the threat is real.
Gary Tremble of Kingsley Ward Action Group said: "We have repeatedly stated that Kingsley Road is not suitable for this type of heavy construction traffic.
"Kingsley Road is simply too narrow for these huge vehicles to safety use without endangering other vehicles and pedestrians, there have been many other near misses and damaged vehicles.
"We feel the situation has become extremely dangerous and a potential danger to life."
Both Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council says the Local Plan and the planning system are being followed when dealing with any questions over the new housing developments in the Kingsley area.
Issues such as traffic problems and transport links are assessed and, where, there are problems, they do try to intervene within the correct procedure.
But Coun Pat Marsh, the leader of the Lib Dem opposition at Harrogate Borough Council, says she believes the Kingsley residents have a strong case which needs to be answered.
Coun Marsh said: "This issue has to be addressed as further developments are occurring.
"Is someone taking this seriously and helping to make sure that these trucks don't cause further issues?
"We said that this road was not adequate for 1,000 plus houses and here we see the problems of this road.
"Something needs to be done before someone is injured or, even worse, killed."
Residents also complain some of their streets have been dug up more than once to lay cables, water pipes and other infrastructure by utility companies to cater for the new developments.
Harrogate Borough Council has shared some of the worries over the physical impact of new house building in the Kingsley area and did attempt to block one set of plans in the area for 149 new homes at Kingsley Farm.
But, after Richborough Estates’ victory at the appeal stage, they decided earlier this year to relent to avoid the risk of defeat with all the financial costs that would involve for the council and local tax payers.
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