New Harrogate housing - it can be stopped, say villagers

Victory! Members of Hampsthwaite Action Group
Victory! Members of Hampsthwaite Action Group

Residents of a village near Harrogate are celebrating a new victory in their long battle to block what they say are “excessive housing developments” in their area.

Members of Hampsthwaite Action Group said they were delighted by this week’s decision to reject a controversial planning application that would have seen up to 71 new houses being built on land in the centre of the village.

A spokesperson for HAG said: “It made absolutely no sense at all to develop this site for housing.

“Another development on nearby Rowden Lane (HM4&5) was rejected by the council last year because of the adverse impact in terms of environmental issues including poor drainage in what is a flood zone.”

New - Harrogate's tent 'village' is gone

Hampsthwaite Action Group has long argued that the wave of new housing proposed for the village could not be justified on scale or sustainability given the cumulative effect of houses built within the past few years and the fact that the local village school was full with no further room for expansion.

It has mounted a particularly vigorous campaign against the proposed housing on Elton Lane behind the village’s popular Sophie’s Coffee Shop for nearly two years.

More than 400 objections were lodged when the application was included as an additional site in the council’s proposed Local Plan.

The village’s hopes were boosted when the council’s planning officer recommended the plans be rejected before Tuesday’s meeting

It’s not the determined campaigners’ first success. Since 2017, objections to the council from Hampsthwaite residents have stopped four out of five proposed housing developments in the village.

A spokesperson for HAG said: “The fact that the council has rejected both of the recent planning proposals means it now acknowledges the unsustainability of sites like these and the importance of preserving our rural landscape and environment.”

How Clean Air Day made Starbeck silent