As chairman of the Hampsthwaite Action Group (HAG) I would like to respond to Stephen Hassell’s letter of last week.
His assertion that we are a minority group flies in the face of the facts.
There are just over 400 houses in our village of Hampsthwaite. Over400 people objected to the proposal to build houses on the land adjacent to Mr Hassell’s and his partner’s business, over 500 people signed a petition objecting to the large housing developments proposed for the village.
The public meeting was attended by over 200 people and well over 200 people have signed up to help or support our campaign. Not too many indifferents left. Do the maths!
On the matter of funding the campaign, the parish council felt the task of fighting all the proposed developments, about 350 extra houses, almost doubling the size of the village, was more than they could do alone.
At a public meeting, again standing room only, HAG was formed to fight the proposals on their behalf.
To help get the campaign started, the parish council did unanimously agree to make some funds available as they would do anyway if they were opposing the development themselves, for consultants etc.
Since then we have had lots of generous donations from villagers and fund-raising events are been held to boost our fighting fund.
All these donations far outweigh the initial seed money provided by the parish council so Mr Hassell can rest assured we are not spending all his precept.
The public meeting referred to in Mr Hassell’s letter was open to the public whatever their persuasion, had he wanted to ask a question he only had to put his hand up, he didn’t.
Some questions were submitted prior to the meeting to ensure a good spread of topics. Rebecca Burnett was aware of this and answered everything professionally.
Finally, I would say to Mr Hassell, if you feel there is a lot of support for your views in the village, feel free to form a group supporting the over development of a dales village, I don’t think you will need the village hall to hold your meetings.
Hampsthwaite Action Group