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Dear Reader: Housing tidal wave + tribute to Adam Tennant

The Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers
The Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers

A personal column by the Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers

The plans are all coming in thick and fast now.
Don’t get too excited about one particular developer’s plans for 500 new homes on leafy Lady Lane on one of Harrogate’s rural backroads.
For Harrogate Borough Council is currently completing work on its new Local Plan with the aim of ensuring a total of 14,049 new houses are built in the district.
I know I’ve mentioned this subject a few times before.
No one likes a stuck record, well, apart from rappers.


But there’s nothing to be gained from turning a blind eye to flooding if the water continues to lap at your ankles.


The council says to achieve the level of housing required to accomodate economic growth – and keep the Government happy, a new ‘settlement’ of at least 3,000 new houses in a single location is a must.
Such is the scale of change on the way across the district in places like Green Hammerton and Cattal and Hampsthwaite and Killinghall, it’s tempting to go along with the flow.
No one steps in front of a tidal wave, afterall.


But what strikes me peculiar about the era we’re living in is this:
Try building a small house on a bit of spare land or even a humble extension in your back garden and the planners remain as implacably stern as ever.
Suggest a couple of hundred houses or a whole new village and bob’s your uncle.

I once visited a modest house in Bilton to buy a small printer from a teenager who didn’t look old enough to have left school.
Don’t ask me why, It’s a long story. I don’t think e-Bay had been invented yet.
The interesting thing is that, transaction completed successfully, the talented youngster happened to tell me in passing he’d just been in Dublin, where he working on computerised animation for Disney.


I had absolutely no reason to doubt him.
This is Harrogate and achievement and talent lurks behind every door.


I raise this as a way into bringing to your attention an amazing all-day charity event which took place yesterday, Saturday at Harrogate Town’s CNG Stadium this Saturday.
It was the same day as the Bed Race in Knaresborough but this particular shindig was in a very good cause, too – remembering much-missed Harrogate family man, and keen footballer for local team Spa Athletic, Adam Tennant with a day of six-a-side football and family entertainment.


Two charities benefiedt this marking of the the tenth anniversary of Adam ’s passing – British Heart Foundation and Cardiac Risk in the Young.
All in all, as an event, it was a major achievement just putting it on.


I had the pleasure last week of visiting the man responsible for making most of the Adam Tennant Day happen.
I was talking to him at the epicentre of the organisation, the very heart of his headquarters – his kitchen in Bilton.