Harrogate villagers alarmed at new £21m housing plans

Residents near Harrogate have hit out at what they say is the fourth major new housing development in five years in their modest village which is set to nearly double in size.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 10:55 am
Protesters from Keep The Hammertons Green Action Group who say their small village is being overwhelmed by the scale of new housing developments.

Their comments follow a recent announcement that Yorkshire Avant Homes had purchased 14.47-acres of land to deliver a £21.5m development of 80 design-led homes in the conservation village of Green Hammerton, which had a population of just 765 residents according to the 2011 Census.

The new development, named Ambretone Park, will include a mixture of three and four-bedroom homes across eight of Avant Homes’ signature house designs.

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Of the 80 new-build homes at Ambretone Park, approximately 40 per cent will be designated to affordable housing across a selection of one, two and three-bedroom properties.

But members of Keep The Hammertons Green Action Group say their once small village located 12 miles from Harrogate has become a hotspot during England's rush to house building and is an inappropriate site for the scale of development.

This has been typified, they say, by the forthcoming construction of 3,000 homes at a site south of the village which Harrogate Borough Council favoured as the location for a new settlement over the former Flaxby Golf Course at the other side of the A1(M).

But, they add, the roots of the latest controversial housing expansion lie in the long-running problems Harrogate Borough had originally in setting a Local Plan acceptable to the Government's Planning Inspectorate.

Villager Chris Chelton, who is co-chair of Keep The Hammertons Green Action Group, said: "This was a hugely unpopular planning application that attracted nearly 250 objections from residents and was submitted when Harrogate Borough Council had no Local Plan or five year housing supply.

"The Planning Committee had little choice but to approve it despite, realising that these houses will project beyond the development limits of the village on a prominent hill facing towards York.

"But this is the fourth major development in Green Hammerton in five years and will see the village nearly double in size in that time.

"Hopefully Avant Homes will do their utmost to lessen the enormous impact their site will have on the surrounding landscape once construction is finished."

Keep The Hammertons Green Action Group say the housing application was originally submitted by Loxley Homes, who sold out to Avant once they managed to get full planning permission in March.

Groundworks at Green Hammerton are due to commence in July with the showhomes set to open at the end of 2021.

The first residents are expected to move into their new homes in spring 2022 with the total development build taking approximately two and a half years.

Based in Wakefield, Avant Homes Yorkshire is part of the Avant Homes group, one of the leading private developers of residential property in the UK.

The group currently has 56 developments across its five operating regions.

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