Frustrated Harrogate residents who have watched the number of major new housing projects on their doorstep mushroom say enough is enough in what is becoming the worse area for developments in the whole town..
After enduring months of dust, disruption, noise and road closures for six months already as a result of two developers and essential work by Yorkshire Water, people in the Kingsley Road area between Knaresborough Road and Bogs Lane are now launching a petition and forming an action group.
Kingsley resident John Hansard said: “We are not being NIMBYS. We accept the two developments which are already happening but they are pushing for more and more.
“If all five developments take place there will be more than 500 new houses in the same small area. That will mean as many as 1,000 new cars. We feel we’ve had enough in our little corner of Harrogate. It should be someone else’s turn.”
When ongoing work began at Kingsley Farm by Stonebridge Homes and at Kingsley Meadows by Barratt Homes, residents thought that might be that.
Despite some residents complaining about chest infections from the dust and the potholes being created in roads, they accepted it all relatively quietly. But as the heavy diggers rumble by their homes on a daily basis, eroding part of the roads and mounting kerbs, they have recently seen new signs go up for future planning applications - Richborough Estates at a site behind Kingsley Farm and two new developments by Persimmon Homes at Kingsley Drive.
Until now, the Kingsley area has faced rough fields leading to the Bilton-Ripey bridleway and the Nidd Gorge area which is home to abundant wildlife and flora and fauna enjoyed by walkers.
As recently as April, a resident took a photograph of a deer spotted behind the fencing at a Barratts site off Kingsley Drive.
The residents have now complained to Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council and fear being hemmed in a tight block of housing and narrow roads.
Their fears for getting around in future once the building work finally finishes have been heightened by new plans by North Yorkshire County Council to change traffic arrangements.
Resident John Hansard said: “The county council are considering widening the bottom end of Kingsley Drive but then making that link to Kingsley Road and Bogs Lane one-way.
“That will mean we will have only one way out of Kingsley Road by trying to turn right onto the already log-jammed Knaresborough Road.
“It will also mean that the traffic from Bogs Lane and Forest Lane Head will back up all the way to Kingsley Road.
“At busy times of the day we will be trapped in Kingsley Road.”
All this has coincided with a major £3 million upgrade of Harrogate water pipelines running all the way from Prince of Wales roundabout to Forest Lane Head...via Kingsley Drive!
Kingsley areas housing developments: What Harrogate Borough Council says
Coun Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “Even though the future sites in the Kingsley area are in the draft Local Plan, the applications still go through the full planning process and residents can still have input.
"Residents can have their say through the planning application process and we encourage them to do just that.
"I know from Councillor Nigel Middlemass (Kingsley ward), who has represented many of his residents' views to me, that the residents in this area have done that over previous years.
"As other planning applications come forward, residents will have further opportunities to respond and make their views known.
"To help those residents who are struggling with the impact of the building of homes on the approved sites, the council is happy to set up conversations with the developers to find ways to reduce the impact where possible.
"The Planning Committee takes the views of those living close to the site and nearby very seriously and residents’ views will have been taken into account alongside all planning considerations.”