Harrogate residents hit out at being 'choked' by new housing and issue warning of by-election revolts

A group of Harrogate residents have hit out at what they saying is "choking overdevelopment" in their part of town and the 'inadequacy' of the town's Local Plan. And they have issued a warning about the impact on voters of new housing after the shock by-election result at f Chesham and Amersham.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 8:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 9:10 am
Kingsley protesters, including Catherine Maguire, front, gather at the planned site o the latest new housing development near Kingsley Drive in Harrogate. (Picture Gerard Binks)

The complaint by members of Kingsley Ward Action Group comes after people living in the Kingsley Drive/Kingsley Road/Bogs Lane area of Harrogate learned they face another site by a major developer with planning for another 217 homes.

Mike Gibbs of Kingsley Ward Action Group said that the recent track record did not augur well, specifically the overturning by the Government Inspector of Harrogate councillors' objections to new housing by Richborough Estates earlier in the year gave local residents no confidence when it came to the latest application in the area by Persimmon Homes.

Mr Gibbs said: "We are faced with another site by Persimmon Homes with planning for another 217 homes.

"Similarly, to the Richborough development, we are all invited to put any objections we have to the planning application.

As we know, following due consideration, the council's planners did reject the application for the Richborough development

"But that was overruled by the Government Inspector."

Mr Gibbs added: "Our objections to this site are similar to the Richborough site only more so.

"Our environment, our green space and our wildlife will all be adversely affected by the new houses.

"The residents' right to a peaceful life will again lose out to the eternal noise, dust, dirt and pollution we have already suffered over the last few years and will continue for years to come.

"Our own roads will be additionally congested and choked as will the main Knaresborough Road requiring emergency access to a hospital and the daily disruption at Starbeck Crossing.

"The council's planning team should remind themselves that the objections are the same as the Richborough site i.e.nothing has changed.

"If they rejected planning for the Richborough site then they must be consistent and reject the planning application for this site.

"But the sad truth is, from recent experience, it appears that if it is on the Local Plan then no amount of objection, no matter how genuine and tangible, will succeed as this will be cancelled at the stroke of a pen by the Government Inspector."

The Kingsley Road Action Group which has been battling away for there years now insists they are not opposed to all new housing just the mass scale of it, the use of the same location over and over again and the lack of evidence so far of any thought given to traffic problems.

Mr Gibbs said: "No one is against sensible, well thought out, environmentally friendly development.

"But the latest new planning application continues the choking overdevelopment in the Kingsley Ward.

"It beggar’s belief that someone thought it was a good idea to kettle in up to 700 houses bounded by a railway line with the only access via a single roadway traffic light system or by narrow roads via major housing residency.

In addition, Kingsley Road Action Group is unhappy at the piecemeal and jigsaw nature of the multiple developments which, they claim, allow the rules on infrastructure on such major new housing expansion to be circumvented.

Mr Gibbs said: "We are aware of the cynical way these various building permissions have been adopted from the Local Plan.

"We are also aware that by agreeing to many separate building sites the impact of all the sites cannot be assessed in the same way that it could if there was only one developer for the whole site.

"We will not go away; we will continue to object where it is genuine.

"We will continue to voice our opinion and not be stifled by large developers, council leaders and Government Inspectors.

" As has been proven by the result of the Chesham and Amersham by-election recently, if the voice of the people is ignored then the people will demonstrate by using their vote."

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