Plans for 80 homes in Harrogate village gets final approval despite residents' 'outrage'

Strongly contested plans for 80 homes on the edge of a rural village between Harrogate and York have been given a final go-ahead by councillors.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 6:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 7:02 pm
The finalised plans for 80 homes in Green Hammerton were narrowly voted through despite complaints from residents and local councillors.

Almost 230 residents in Green Hammerton had objected to the proposals for Green Hill which were granted outline permission in January 2019 and given final approval at a meeting of Harrogate Borough Council's planning committee yesterday.

The meeting heard complaints from residents and local councillors who pleaded for the plans to be taken back to the drawing board with fewer homes and further improvements to the site layout.

There were also frustrations from committee members who admitted they were "stuck" with the proposals which were first approved before Harrogate's Local Plan was adopted and as the district's planning system was weakened.

Councillor Ann Myatt, who represents the Ouseburn ward, told the committee: "Green Hill is beyond the development limits of the village and is not - and never has been - in the Local Plan.

"There have been a huge number of objections to this application and there remains serious concerns.

"The right thing to do is to reject this and seek further modifications to include a reduction in housing density and type, further improvements to the access, together with alterations to reduce the visual impact."

Green Hammerton is also facing the 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).

The decision caused much anger in the village and Chris Chelton, chairman of campaign group Keep Green Hammerton Green, said aside from the 3,000-home settlement and out of all other proposed developments, the Green Hill scheme approved yesterday was the one that caused the most "outrage" in the village.

He told councillors: "Green Hammerton has been ill-served by the planning system probably more so than any other small village in the district.

"This development will impact the character and setting of what is one of the district's oldest conservation villages. It would mean the loss of yet another highly productive agricultural field and place further strain upon Green Hammerton's limited facilities."

The scheme from Leeds-based developer Loxley Homes was narrowly voted through by councillors with five voting for approval, three for refusal and three abstentions.

A mix of detached and semi-detached homes with one to four bedrooms will be built at the site, including 32 'affordable' properties.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter