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Wetherby needs to have say on housing plans

wet  Spofforth Hill 2004.   0809044a.
wet Spofforth Hill 2004. 0809044a.

A controversial planning application is due to be heard by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday August 14.

Outline planning permission is being sought for up to 210 dwellings on a site in Stockeld Park, in North Yorkshire, but less than two miles from the centre of Wetherby.

Wetherby Coun Alan Lamb feels that this development has not been properly thought through and says that it has not been adequately communicated to Wetherby residents because they live in West Yorkshire.

Coun Alan Lamb said: “This planning meeting is crucial. Harrogate councillors are set to make a decision that will directly affect Wetherby far more than it will Harrogate.

“There are so many reasons why this development will not benefit our town - increased traffic and pollution; pressure on primary schools; difficulties in accessing already over-subscribed medical services to name three.

“I will be pushing in the strongest terms that this development should not be approved.

“In no way do I mean this to be the ‘pitchforks and burning torches brigade’, but we must have representation at this meeting from Wetherby residents to show the depth of feeling there is in the town against this development.

“To be clear, I am not against housing developments as such. I have said on many occasions that new housing must be sustainable and in keeping with the surrounding area as well as addressing housing need which in Wetherby is principally more affordable homes and more housing for older people.

“I do not believe that is the case here and will be saying so on the 14th.”

According to the planning report, 286 representations have been made on this application objecting to it. Only one is of a neutral stance.

Coun Lamb, and his Wetherby ward colleagues Coun Gerald Wilkinson and Norma Harrington, thanked everyone that took the time to make their comments known and to let them know that he will continue to fight this development proposal.

Coun Norma Harrington (Conservative, Wetherby ward) said: “This development will have major implications for Wetherby.

“We will make what representations we can so that the planning committee in Harrogate is of no doubt as to what the view from Wetherby is on this development.

“Local people are strongly opposed to it and we want to make sure that is heard loud and clear in Harrogate.”

Coun Gerald Wilkinson added: “We need to become much better at cross border working regardless of whether that is Wetherby, Leeds and Harrogate or anywhere else.

“It is not acceptable that people in Wetherby, who will be most affected by this application, have not had sufficient opportunity to oppose this development simply because they are on the wrong side of the district boundary.”

For Wetherby residents wishing to attend, transport to the planning meeting at Harrogate Borough Council has been arranged by the Wetherby ward councillors. A coach will leave the pick-up point at the Cluster of Nuts cars park at 1pm to travel to Harrogate, returning at 4.30pm.

While this transport is free of charge, places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact Coun Alan Lamb on: alan.lamb@leeds.gov.uk