HAMPSTHWAITE PARISH COUNCIL
Thank you for seeing myself and other representatives of Hampsthwaite Parish Council on Friday 1st September.
We look forward to receiving a copy of your letter to the Chief Executive of Harrogate Borough Council but meanwhile as discussed, I am writing to repeat the issues we raised with you in order that these may be a public record.
As a general remark , we consider the public consultation exercise to date as somewhat of a facade as there is no real evidence that the Council are taking seriously the comments from many residents, not just in Hampsthwaite but throughout the District. We consider that the Council are in grave danger of destroying village and small settlement life by paying far too much heed to the views of landowners and property developers. However the particular points we raised with you now follow.
- Primary Service Classification.
Whist we would not dispute that Hampsthwaite has a number of service functions that smaller rural villages lack, we would claim that the housing growth allocated to primary service villages at 27% of the total required for new homes is too large and that the Council should instead be placing more development in new settlements which are better served by transport links and have the ability to cope with infrastructure demands. The potential housing growth in Hampsthwaite is totally disproportionate to the current size of the village with an increase which would virtually double the size of the village. This is against NPPF guidelines. Also for the Council to equate our public transport , the no 24 bus, with that of other primary service villages, eg Killiinghall with the
No 36 route, is farcical.
- Methodology of Housing Target.
We would question how the Council has arrived at a requirement for 14049 new homes for the 20years to 2035. We know this is an interpretation of Central Government guidelines but no detailed explanation has been provided to arrive at that number. However we now have the Council quoting a figure of 16500 homes without any justification for this increase. The public consultation which has just ended is based on the lower figure and this does raise the issue of whether the consultation has been flawed because of it being based on incorrect numbers.
- New preferred additional site HM09 .( Birstwith Road)
In 2009 an application was refused for two football pitches on this site on very strong landscape arguments and the negative impact on local distinctiveness. The site is identified within the Council’s own Conservation document as “being a vital element of Hampsthwaite’s character.” Also the site and “ the village setting within the valley of the Nidd is its main attraction”. How can the Council now override these comments, without any satisfactory explanation, in identifying this site over other options, for 100 new homes? This is a highly sensitive site which if developed would have a dramatic and terrible impact on the village’s character.
Finally we are very concerned that the Council in allocating sites for development seem to pay no regard to the cumulative impact upon a settlement and its infrastructure and character simply considering each site in isolation.
As stated previously, we await a copy of your correspondence with the Chief Executive and his response.
David Collett ( Chair Hampsthwaite Parish Council)