Local Plan: Harrogate residents' joy at new housing 'victory'

One of the local residents groups fighting new housing in the Harrogate district says it is delighted that the Government's inspector has rejected parts of the new Local Plan.

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 14th March 2019, 4:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 4:43 pm
'No' to new housing - Members of Hampsthwaite Action Group.
'No' to new housing - Members of Hampsthwaite Action Group.

After already been throw out once before in the last five years, the latest version of the document which sets out Harrogate Borough Council's strategy for housing growth has run into trouble again - much to the relief of Hampsthwaite Action Group, in particular.

A spokesperson for the village's campaign team said the Planning Inspector's conclusion that the council has provided for an over-supply of housing gave them hope of stopping planned new housing in their area.

Government inspector tells Harrogate council to scrap 11 housing sites from its proposed Local PlanThe spokesperson said: "The inspector has removed nearly a dozen sites from the plan which he had concerns over .

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"Hampsthwaite's HM9 site which lies behind Sophie's coffee Shop is one of them - so we are delighted!

"On the housing numbers, through the inspector's examination it came to light that the council have planned for too many homes.

"The inspector has said he will deal with this by removing the sites he has the most concerns about."

In his assessment, the Planning Inspector rejected the Hampsthwaite site because it lay in a "very prominent and exposed site on the edge of the AONB."

Echoing what villagers have been saying for two years, he added: "Development here would be likely to give rise to harm to landscape and heritage assets."

Hampsthwaite Action Group still remains worried about what happens next, however.

A spokesperson said: "Unless the applicant withdraws his proposed plans this could still go before the Planning Committee and it could get through.

"But it would seem perverse to say the least if the council disregarded the Inspector's advice and accepted this plan."

Among the mainly rural sites identified by the Government's Planning Inspector as being unwise for development are: HM9 - Hampsthwaite, P1/P5/P10 - Pateley Bridge, DR14 - Darley, DB5 - Dacre Banks, SB1 - Summerbridge, PN19 - Pannal, PN17 - Pannal, B21 - Boroughbridge and M8 - Masham.

Harrogate Borough Council will be hoping the inspector will agree to its Local Plan overall.

It has always felt its hands are tied when dealing with planning applications for new housing by the absence of a Local Plan which had Government approval.

The next steps are likely to be a consultation on the modified Local Plan in June or July, with a final report from the inspector in September or October followed by the possible adoption of the Local Plan at the council meeting after that.