Candle-lit vigil set for final meeting on Harrogate's Draft Local Plan

A candle-lit vigil is to be held tonight by campaigners challenging the district's draft Local Plan as Harrogate Borough Councillors prepare to vote on giving final approval for the blueprint.

Inadequate services and a lack of transport were flagged by the group

Members of the Keep Green Hammerton Green group will hold their protest outside the Royal Hall in Harrogate.

Inadequate services and a lack of transport were flagged by the group, who say plans for at least 3,000 homes across the Green Hammerton area is ‘the wrong choice’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chairman of Keep Green Hammerton Green, Chris Chelton said: “We have sought for many months to outline our belief that the Council has made the wrong choice for a new town in the Green Hammerton area.

“There are many reasons why this is true, and we are hoping that members of the Council will realise even at this late stage that, if a new settlement is truly needed, it should not be here.”

“The Council has continued to justify their choice for two reasons, the nearby rail halts and a limited number of facilities in Green Hammerton that they consider adequate to support the needs of hundreds of new houses, which simply isn’t true.

“We will be asking them why they believe these to be valid arguments.”

A new settlement was still being recommended within nearly 168 acres of agricultural land near Green Hammerton in July, during HBC’s additional sites consultation.

However planners altered this for the Draft Local Plan, when it was published in November, outlining a zone around Green Hammerton and Cattal where they said a new settlement should be sited.

Campaigners however maintain that an alternative site at Flaxby is more suitable. After challenging the proposals over the course of the year the group remained optimistic there was still time to alter the plan.

Mr Chelton said: “It is apparent HBC are concerned about their Local Plan not being accepted by the Planning Inspector, to the point of pursuing the Green Hammerton plan when so much speaks against it. Council planners seem unwilling or unable to change direction, even when the facts suggest that is what should be done -hopefully the Full Council will realise that now”