Harrogate councillors have expressed their sympathy for Killinghall residents, who say they are 'under siege' with housing developments.
Harrogate Borough Councillor for Killinghall parish and village resident, Coun Michael Harrison believes developments have changed the area ‘forever’.
He said: “The sheer level of development is just so far beyond what anybody would have reasonably expected to be an acceptable amount of additional housing.
“The residents have been under siege for the last ten years and it hasn’t ended, because they are still facing planning applications which are expanding the village.
“It is wonderful that the village hall and the cricket club have received funding to improve their infrastructure, but then the playground at the Glebe hasn’t, it’s all funded by the Parish Council and they haven’t seen a penny from the developers.
“If you look at somewhere like Ripley it has conservation area status, and Hampsthwaite too. There are places that have protection in place, but you can’t just magic that up and I think that has been Killinghall’s Achilles heel.
“Our biggest defence would have been the impact of traffic because they are hammered on a daily basis but that defence hasn’t held.
“The villagers and I have found it immensely frustrating. Killinghall has changed forever.
“We can’t say it’s all for the worse, because it’s not, but you can see why the villagers feel let down by the system.
“I think planners would admit privately that Killinghall has had a raw deal but even when they have refused applications they have been approved on appeal.
“The existing villagers are sufficiently sad about things but they will admit that now that the houses are there they would want the new people to support village life and the local groups and get involved with the community and help Killinghall preserve it’s village identity despite the fact that it’s twice the size it used to be.”
The cabinet member for Planning at Harrogate Borough Council has also sympathised with residents in Killinghall over the ‘upswing’ of developments the village has seen.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for Planning, said she feels for residents who have suffered the brunt of increased planning applications in the Harrogate District.
She said: “I feel for the residents of Killinghall because, like many places in our district, they have seen a big upswing in the number of planning applications for housing.
“In the current planning policy environment it has been difficult for the council to recommend anything other than approval of many of the applications that have come in.
“Where the council has refused development, such as the Crofters Green application, it has been granted on appeal - which shows how strong the current national planning policy framework leans towards approving development and the difficult place this puts councils in.”