Letter: Cattal development - This is a preferable site

Plans for a sustainable new village located around Cattal railway station have been unveiled to help meet Harrogate's future housing needs.
Plans for a sustainable new village located around Cattal railway station have been unveiled to help meet Harrogate's future housing needs.

Reference your article in the Harrogate Advertiser of April 13, the proposal by Oakgate Group for a new settlement near Cattal called Maltkiln has much to commend it.

Some 3,000 homes are planned on a site of 166 ha, all lying to the south of the A59, centred on Cattal railway station. It has one major advantage over the Hammerton settlement, as proposed in the draft Local Plan, in that it is not cut in two by a busy A class road.

The proposals also include extra care housing for older people, healthcare facilities, village centre including shops, a primary school, amenity land and 7,896 sqm of offices and employment space. Furthermore, there will be three or four routes that can be used to access the settlement. This appears to be a much better considered settlement than the proposed dormitory towns at either Flaxby or Hammerton.

Whilst the existing hamlet of Flaxby would be totally subsumed by the proposed new town there, neither Cattal nor Kirk Hammerton would be affected in the same way, both being about half a mile away from Maltkiln.

There is also a proposal by Berkeley DeVeer for a satellite village called Deighton Grange to the north of Wetherby that looks very attractive. This is a site of about 140 ha with 1,500 proposed homes. It will have a number of access points onto the A168. This also would help Harrogate meet its housing target.

These two new proposals at Maltkiln and Deighton Grange have clear benefits when compared with either the Flaxby or Hammerton settlements as proposed in the draft Local Plan. The Flaxby proposal has fundamental problems created by access onto the A59 which will lead to major traffic congestion and long-term damage to the economy of Harrogate and Knaresborough.

The A1(M) Junction 47 proposed improvements are designed only to address existing congestion problems on the A1(M). They will not in any way help to mitigate new congestion created by Flaxby New Town or Flaxby Green Park.

Flaxby new town is expected to have a population of 7,000-8,000, whilst Flaxby Green Park is expected to employ 2,840, and both will access the A59 at the Flaxby Moor roundabout. This will inevitably bring about major traffic congestion and gridlock on the A59 thus cutting off Harrogate from the strategic motorway network.

Any proposal to build a new settlement is likely to engender some opposition. We are not averse to natural expansion, and would like to see some in Flaxby. However, choosing the right site for a new settlement of the size proposed must involve objective assessment and not be deflected by party politics or inducements.

Can we trust that our councillors will make the right decision?

Both the Flaxby and Hammerton proposals should be rejected in favour of Maltkiln and/or Deighton Grange.

Mr and Mrs H White