Letter: Local Plan - Council leaving a dreadful legacy

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I am writing to protest at the proposed housing developments in the Nidderdale area ie those relating to Pateley Bridge, Hampsthwaite and Killinghall. I have lived in this area for more than 34 years.

I take issue with Coun Burnett’s comments (Advertiser, August 17) that development will help services to grow, and that businesses will be boosted by an increased population. There is no guarantee that the new people will trade in the local area - no guarantee that they will fill the local churches and local schools.

Firstly, additional housing means increased traffic - all on dangerous small country roads, and no decent bus service to cater for an increased population.

Secondly, additional housing means destruction of wildlife habitats, and with these go well documented destruction of species.

Thirdly, Nidderdale attracts a vast amount of tourists to the Harrogate District. By destroying green fields - never to be recovered - Harrogate Borough Councillors are destroying the goose that has laid the golden egg. Attractive small villages will turn into dormitory towns, and lose their appeal accordingly.

It is quite atrocious how Harrogate Councillors have allowed Killinghall to become a faceless ribbon development. The only people who have benefitted have been the developers - who continue to extract wealth from a finite resource to line their own pockets - and the landowners. Too many of these houses are executive homes, still out of reach of those who need low cost housing.

I also understand how the council will benefit from building so many houses. Money from central government will boost the council’s coffers if you build your allocation of housing.

Please think carefully how this can be done. First target brownfield sites (unloved by developers as it costs them more), build up (three storeys), build terraced housing, and examine empty housing stock.

If you allow the scale of the proposed developments to go through, you will have changed the face of the Harrogate District forever, and your legacy will be to leave it in a much poorer state.

Di Burton

Whipley Lane,