Rowden Lane Planning Appeal

Action required before the 6th May 2018

Dear Villager,

Last year, the council refused to grant outline planning permission for 130 houses at Rowden Lane. (17/03437/OUTMAJ). The applicant has now submitted an appeal against the refusal and a decision will be made by an independent person appointed by the Planning Inspectorate. We must now show our opposition to the appeal by writing to the Planning Inspectorate.

The first Rowden Lane application seems a long time ago and there have been many planning issues since then, like the ‘second’ Rowden Lane planning application, the ongoing Elton Lane planning application, Local Plan consultations and the Brookfield Garth planning permission. HAG has evolved in the last 6 months and has gained a lot of objection material to the disproportionate housing growth proposals facing us and the cumulative impact of all these extra houses. HAG has also gained a substantial level of local support and a mandate from Hampsthwaite households.

What can I do to help?

This leaflet has been delivered to every household in the village and we ask you to do the following:

  1. If you objected to the first planning application at Rowden Lane you should have received an email or a letter from the council informing you of the appeal and what to do. Please write an objection letter again and send it to the Planning Inspectorate.
  2. We need to get as many people in the village as possible to write comments, so even if you did not object to the first Rowden Lane planning application you can still write to object to this appeal. Please write your objection letter now and send it to the Planning Inspectorate.
  3. HAG is also sending a detailed response on behalf of the community. 392 of you put your name to our recent submissions to try and prevent the disproportionate levels of housing growth in the village. Information from those submissions will now be used for this appeal. Let us know if you want your name removed from the mandate. If we don’t hear from you your name will stay on our appeal submission.
  4. Objections are sent by an individual so there is nothing to stop more than one objection being sent from a household.


What should I say in my objection letter?

Hampsthwaite Action Group has met with a barrister. Her advice is we should concentrate on objections related to landscape, highways and drainage. If you previously objected, all your reasons still apply. You can download what you said from the council’s planning portal under the ‘find a planning application’ and using the planning application reference as a search: 17/03437/OUTMAJ. If you did not previously object, this is a good opportunity to add to the concerns raised by the other villagers.

Please use your own words to make an objection – it will carry more weight than just repeating a list. At the top of your letter you could also emphasise these points:

  • The council failed to undertake a lawful screening opinion and there is no Environmental Statement with the planning application.
  • The application is controversial because there is substantial local objection and the appeal should be dealt with by public inquiry.
  • This appeal site was rejected by the council as a housing allocation in the emerging Local Plan but it is proposed to deal with this appeal by ‘written representations’. A different proposed housing site is to be considered at a Local Plan Public Examination. The two approaches are not equitable.
  • 130 houses will have a substantial cumulative adverse impact on the village – doubling the size of the village when taken with other housing developments in the village.
  • The proposal will not deliver sustainable development contrary to national planning policy.


Objections from last year:

There was substantial opposition to the Rowden Lane proposals. Objections were made by the Parish Council and from 184 Hampsthwaite residents, together with 31 people from outside the village. Petitions opposing the development had 367 and 24 signatories. This is a summary of the objection issues:

Landscape/Conservation and Ecological Impacts:

Harm to landscape

Elevation of proposed site.

Inappropriate scale of development.

Urbanisation of the countryside in close proximity to the AONB.

Location too periphery / isolated, detrimental to village.

Proposal will scar landscape unlike existing village which sits in the landscape.

Set precedent for isolated development elsewhere.

On rising land with prominent rock formation and visibility from AONB (which is just 270 metres away) and other side of valley; special natural and recreational value.

Houses will be highly visible.

Destruction of fields harming the Conservation Area.

Harm to nature and wildlife.

Light pollution.


Highway Impacts:

Access to Rowden Lane out of all proportion with exit on to an unsuitable road with no speed limit. Accident rates at junctions on A59 – need roundabout with Rowden Lane.

Bus fares too high and limited timetable, villagers need cars. Bus cannot be used by anyone working 9am to 5.30pm in Harrogate. No evening service. Worsened service despite recent developments. Footpath link from site to bus stops uses muddy track.

Car parking in village centre makes narrow main street dangerous, development will promote further car journeys to the village centre. Parking impossible when church functions held.

Dangerous access point on 60mph road which is often impassable / treacherous in winter and floods at junction with High Street.

Only one access proposed despite the need for two being referenced in the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment and will be out of scale with surroundings.

Lack of existing pavement access; will result in urbanisation of Rowden Lane.

Harrogate is already congested and has to be entered / crossed to reach key facilities including rail, employment, secondary schools and motorways. Extra car journeys will result in poorer air quality.

Cycling from Hampsthwaite to Harrogate is an unrealistic and dangerous option.

Public right of way crossing the site will be urbanised

Eastward improvements to public right of way is reliant on another application.

Traffic already increased too much especially at school times – 271 car movements an hour; proposal will increase traffic hazards further.

Village is not an Urban Area as stated in the applicant Traffic Assessment

The access would require removal of trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order.


Drainage issues:

Existing drainage infrastructure cannot cope.

Feeder systems cannot cope with sewerage and surface water drainage.

Sewerage system has reached overcapacity requiring frequent pumping and use of tankers.

Effect of proposal on drainage and flood risk.

SuDs unsuitable.

Drainage ditch on east side gathers a lot of water following heavy rain.


Detriment to village character and sustainability:

Cumulative impact on local services.

Not attached to existing settlement.

Disproportionate to village.

Will destroy character and threaten community spirit of village – become a suburb of Harrogate.

Lack of local jobs, will increase commuting.

Abattoir, car sales room, petrol station, auctioneers in the village have closed.

Hampsthwaite has already made its proportional contribution to the required housing supply. All further proposals now out of scale with the village.

Level of amenities, Village shop offer basic supplies not a wide range and home delivery services mean more vehicles.

Village is a gateway to Nidderdale and urbanisation will damage attraction to visitors and harm local businesses.

Existing houses being built in the village are too expensive and selling very slowly; need smaller housing developments for working families on basic salaries, low cost / affordable houses for the young and retirement sized houses.

No local need for this scale and type of housing development.

Primary school is at capacity; cannot be expanded without losing play and green space. New school location needed. Cars will be used to take children to school or nursery.

Cumulative impact of extra houses harmful to the village sense of community.

Noise and pollution created.

Too large; disproportionate to size of the village, already approved developments sufficient/excessive.


How do I send my objection to the Planning Inspectorate?

If you wish to make comments you can do so online at

If you do not have access to the internet, you can send your comments in a letter either directly to:


The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3M

Temple Quay House

2 The Square




Or, complete your objection and place in a sealed envelope addressed to the Planning Inspectorate (above address), leave the envelope in the box provided in Sophie’s Coffee Shop. HAG will collect objections from Sophie’s on Sunday 6th May and forward objections in bulk to the Inspectorate.


All representations must be received by the Inspectorate no later than 9 May 2018.  This is important because any representations received by the Planning Inspectorate after the deadline will not usually be considered and will be returned.  The Planning Inspectorate does not acknowledge representations.

All representations must quote the appeal reference: APP/E2734/W/18/3195984


Please note that any representations you submit to the Planning Inspectorate will be copied to the appellant and Harrogate planning authority and will be considered by the Inspector when determining the appeal.

The appointed Planning Inspector will make a site visit in due course.

The Planning Inspectorate is based in Bristol but appeal documents can be inspected on their website. Appeal documents will also be available for inspection by appointment at Harrogate Council’s Customer Services, Civic Centre, St Luke’s Mount, Harrogate HG1 2AE.  Email: Tel: 01423 500600.

You can get a copy of one of the Planning Inspectorate’s “Guide to taking part in planning appeals” booklets free of charge from GOV.UK at . The Council offices also supply this document.

When a decision is made it will be published online at

Hampsthwaite Action Group will keep you informed of progress.

Thank you for your continued support which really matters. The volume of objections we submit will demonstrate the local opposition to these disproportionate housing developments.