Victory! Harrogate villagers win over housing developers

Protest - Hampsthwaite villagers say 'no' to new housing.Protest - Hampsthwaite villagers say 'no' to new housing.
Protest - Hampsthwaite villagers say 'no' to new housing.
Villagers near Harrogate who feel so deluged by new housing developments they say they are 'beseiged' are celebrating a victory over developers.

Members of Hampsthwaite Action Group say they were delighted to learn that a second appeal against the refusal for outline planning permission at Rowden Lane in Hampsthwaite (HM7) had been dismissed by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

The site, which is within the Hampsthwaite Conservation Area was first refused planning in March this year.

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The developers, Vernon Land Partnership lost their original appeal against this decision but now a second appeal has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that any development would affect the characters and appearance of the area around the village of Hampsthwaite, resulting in the loss of a public right of way and valued trees across the site.

In making its decision, The Planning Inspectorate said any development of the site would be markedly out of keeping with its rural surroundings, constituting a significant encroachment into open countryside.

It's not the first time villagers in HAG have fought against that particular housing development.In November 2017 they managed to persuade councillors on Harrogate Borough Council to take a unanimous vote against a plan to build 130 houses on the HM4 and 5 sites at Rowden Lane.More than 200 people had sent objections to the proposed development.Supporting them were Hampsthwaite Parish Council and local councillor, Michael Harrison.

Last month saw HAG reveal the results of an FOI request they had made themselves.The request reveal that over the past two years there have been 172 appeals within HBC's area in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and more. The information also show, of these, only 12 resulted in a public hearing in front of an inspector in the 2016-17 period. HAG argued that, as Harrogate Borough Council has now reached its five-year supply target it could, therefore, easily object to more developments if it wanted to.