Victory for villagers against housing development near Harrogate
Campaigners against what they say are 'excessive' housing developments in a village near Harrogate are hailing a decision to stop a major chunk of new housing.
Hampsthwaite residents say the unanimous vote by members of Harrogate Borough Council's planning committee against a plan to build 130 houses on the HM4 and 5 sites at Rowden Lane, on the edge of the village, is a victory for common sense.More than 200 people had previously objected to the proposed development which was not included in HBC’s draft Local Plan. After a vigorous four-month campaign, Hampsthwaite Action Group supported by the Parish Council and local councillor, Michael Harrison took their case to Harrogate Borough Council's full planning committee on Tuesday. Speaking after the meeting, Hampsthwaite Action Group chair Terry Mounsey said: "Over the last few weeks the Hampsthwaite Action Group has been questioning planners, lobbying councillors and encouraging the people of Hampsthwaite to object to this application."All the hard work has now been rewarded and I am delighted that the planners and the councillors have supported our objection against this obtrusive plan."Hampsthwaite resident Dale Watler said: "I am very concerned that the Hampsthwaite village infrastructure cannot support a development of the size of Rowden Lane. "The Brookfield Grange development of 56 homes, currently under construction will already add to the existing pressures on resources and infrastructure."Fellow resident Debbie Bruce said she was worried about the environmental impact of the possible development at Rowden Lane. She said: "The elevated location of this site, which provides a backdrop to Hampsthwaite, overlooking the village and Nidd Valley and which is clearly visible from neighbouring Clint Bank, would have a significant and detrimental impact on the visual outlook and rural landscape of this area. "This development would encroach upon the natural beauty and unique nature of the AONB. The threat to trees, nesting birds and wildlife and the gritstone outcrops of Knox Hill together with a change of character to the public right of way in and around the Hampsthwaite Conservation Area would be an enormous loss to the community. "Rowden Lane is just one site where housing developments in the village are planned.Hampsthwaite Action Group are now focussing their efforts on challenging proposed development on the HM9, Birstwith Road/Meadow Close site and at Church Lane.