Letter: Housing - Building would be an intrusion

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I want to raise awareness about the application for 165 houses on a pair of green fields to the west of Cornwall Road that most local people and visitors would have thought was safe from development.

Many interested people may not have had time to act on the report in the Advertiser before the Christmas and New Year holidays. There is still time.

Whilst the need for new housing is appreciated, there are special places that cannot accommodate them and this is one of them.

The fields lie between the Pinewoods and Birk Crag. Birk Crag is marked as a proposed Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and a Local Nature Reserve.

Recent scientific work has made it clear that small isolated pockets of protected land are of limited value to wildlife if their environment is changed significantly. This plan for 165 houses here would represent a very significant change and would break the open land connection between the Pine Woods, Birk Crag and Oak Beck.

The intrusion into the countryside would deprive walkers and visitors of the unbroken long distance views to the west and north.

Unfortunately this designation does not provide long term protection for land despite being “of good quality and very important to the landscape setting of the settlement”. The setting of Harrogate, to which these impressive views contribute, can never be replaced if lost.

We are so fortunate to have open fields so close to our town centre adding to the other tourist attractions of this part of Harrogate.

Any type of building here would be a gross intrusion.

The fields on the west side of Cornwall Road should be the limit of the town here.

You can write to Harrogate Borough Council quoting the application reference 15/05163/OUTMAJ or email ippu@harrogate.gov.uk quoting ref:15/05163/OUTMAJ.

R Carnaghan

Kent Road North,