Lufton & Associates, Chartered Planning Consultancy
Lufton & Associates Chartered Planning Consultancy 4 Beechcroft Avenue Stafford ST16 1BJ
Principal: Hugh Lufton BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI www.charteredplanningconsultancy.co.uk
Hampsthwaite Parish Council
Lufton and Associates have been commissioned by Hampsthwaite Parish Council to give a professional planning opinion of the planning, sustainability and accessibility merits of the strategic development sites in Hampsthwaite (HMP9) identified in the village through the Local Plan review process being undertaken by Harrogate Borough Council.
Planning, Sustainability and Accessibility Assessment of Additional Site in Hampsthwaite Village – (Objection to Inclusion of Site Allocation)
The following is a comparative assessment of the strategic allocation site in Hampsthwaite village set against, where possible, development, focussed to the main settlements of the Borough (Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon), the local service centres (Boroughbridge, Pateley Bridge and Masham) and other primary service villages.
The assessment criteria reflects the relevant high-level objectives of the twenty set out under headings of Sustainable Development Patterns, Housing, Economy, Place Making, Heritage, Infrastructure and Connectivity and Natural Environment in the Harrogate Draft Local Plan pages 16-18 (October 2016), the scope of the Borough Council’s sustainability assessment work on the additional sites consultation (July 2017) and the cornerstone policy aspects of the NPPF in relation to sustainable development.
Limited Capacity of Primary School.
The village is served by one modest primary school the Hampsthwaite Church of England Primary School set well within the village boundary. It is a popular school with 114 children on the roll at January 2016 and 15 PAN academic year 2017/18 and 58 applications received in 2016.
In terms of the Public Admissions Number (PAN) of 15. This has been significantly exceeded in the last two years due to admission of additional pupils, so year 10 has 18 pupils and reception 21. The school is full in all school years.
The governors are of the view the school that the school owes its success to its modest size giving a family feel and building strong relationships between teachers and children in mixed year classes. The nature of the school is strongly linked to its physical size its location in the centre of the village and its historic building.
There is planned expansion due for completion in 2017/18 of one new classroom to accommodate children from the Brookfield development with total roll of around 140 compared to current ‘capacity’ of 110. There is no public funding of the expansion.
The roads immediately around the school are narrow with challenging geometry and parking facilities are limited with no dedicated car park and only an informal arrangement with the Memorial Hall with every attempt to continue to allow children to walk to school in the relevant age groups.
Adjoining land within the settlement boundary are significant public open space and limited outdoor and playground space, some of which is being taken in expansion 2017/18. The school is physically landlocked and unable to expand. Any development beyond the village boundary, including site HM9, would lead to children being taken by car to schools outside the village.
Poor proximity and ease of access to existing high schools and FE colleges.
The village is not well served by high schools and further education colleges with these all being in the furthest reaches of Harrogate and beyond the congestion areas of the town centre highway network with poor access from the existing public transport service.
Any development beyond the village boundary, including site HM9, would lead to long and time-consuming journeys to high schools and further education colleges.
Proximity and ease of access; – to local shopping facilities; – health facilities, GP etc; – public open space and leisure facilities.
Hampsthwaite village has a limited range of local services and shops to support new housing development. The village does have a local food-store and a Post Office however the range of food and other goods sold is very limited. There are a small number other shops on the High Street selling a limited range of goods. There are no medium to large shop units available or logically positioned buildings that would readily covert to accommodate larger units.
The Hampsthwaite High Street and the roads immediately around the High Street are narrow and parking is very limited with no car park.
The village has a GP practice, primary school as afore-mentioned, and one public house, these are typical to all the primary service villages of which however Kirby Malzeard, Pannal, Ripley, and Summerbridge have a much wider range of shops and facilities.
The village has some sports facilities and amenity greenspace including the cricket ground however compared to the others in the primary service villages group and in particularly Kirby Malzeard, Pannal, Spofforth and Tockwith these are limited by comparison.
With a limited range of facilities new residents of HM9 would likely contribute further to distant car-borne trips to meet their shopping, service, recreational and leisure needs contributing to more traffic running through the village with associated poor air quality and road accident potential and further congestion impact in the centre of Harrogate.
Poor access to local employment.
Hampsthwaite village has a very limited range of employment opportunities in shops and local services and therefore and a high proportion of out-commuting of over 5km in distance, 79.2%, (Harrogate 62.5%) and long distance commuting over 20km, 15.6% (2011 Census, ONS). As such it is a dormitory village.
Poor access to a wider range of job opportunities and employment.
Poor access to existing public transport services.
Hampsthwaite village has limited local bus services (number 24) and poor link to the wider PT network and does not provide a service effective for commuting, a good Saturday service or Sunday service.
All the other Primary Service Villages with the exemption of Hampsthwaite and Kirby Malzeard are situated on or very close to the main highway links on Public Transport Corridors with better bus service networks.
Pateley Bridge / Harrogate Knaresborough corridor – B6165 – Summerbridge. Ripon / Harrogate Knaresborough corridor – A61 – Ripley and Killinghall. Knaresborough corridor – A59- Green Hammerton.
Knaresborough corridor – Tockwith.
Harrogate / Leeds corridor – A61 A658 – Pannal.
Harrogate / Leeds corridor – A661 – Spofforth.
Poor access to main highway network and impact on congestion particularly from increased commuting directed to Harrogate town centre.
Negative impact on town centre traffic congestion particularly in Harrogate.
Detrimental Impact on character and integrity of Landscape.
The Hampsthwaite Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2009) describes the character of the landscape in the area;
Hampsthwaite is situated in the Lower Nidderdale Valley, an area characterised by a large-scale, broad valley with a flat floor that channels extensive views. The valley floor landscape pattern is intimate and diverse with random fields typical of early enclosure. Field boundaries are a mix of walls, hedges, stock fences and metal estate fences. The land is used for cereal crops on the richer soils of the valley floor and intensive grazing on the valley sides. There is significant tree cover along the valley and on the hillsides leading out of Hampsthwaite to the north.
The village’s setting – within the valley of the Nidd – is its main aesthetic attraction. Hills, especially to the north of Hampsthwaite, rise gently at first then more sharply enclosing the river.
The River Nidd, its meadows and mature trees of the churchyard are extremely important features of the village. A focal point of the village is the green at the junction of Church Lane, High Street and the road to Birtswith. It is well defined by the three roads and enclosed by buildings. There are mature trees on the green, which provide valuable tree cover and add to the rural character of the village.
Hampsthwaite Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2009) Map Insert
There is insufficient space along much of the High Street for trees. However, there are some as the green opens out, especially near the Old Parsonage. The main feature of the space is the grass itself. Further along the High Street, the raised wide grass verge softens the long stone terrace (which has no front gardens).
Boundary walls are an important feature of the village. Soft landscaping contributes greatly to the character of the village and Conservation Area designation gives some protection to trees. The foliage combines with grass verges to soften the effects of the walls, offering seasonal colour and variety in the village.
With the hills also rising to the north-west gives a feeling of Hampsthwaite set in a shallow natural topographical bowl.
Any development beyond the village boundary and particularly of site HM9 would be detrimental to the integrity of the surrounding landscape and the enclosure of the village.
Detrimental Impact on heritage assets.
The Hampsthwaite Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2009) describes the location and setting;
Hampsthwaite, a parish-town, lies 5 miles north west of Harrogate and south of the River Nidd. The original part of the village is designated as a Conservation Area and to the north and west of Hampsthwaite is within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The area is an important “gateway” between Harrogate and Nidderdale. The area is well served by roads and intermittent traffic noise can be heard in this accessible landscape.
The original village was a ribbon development along the line of the Roman road from Ilkley to Aldborough. In the late nineteenth development occurred along Hollins Lane, the road to the south-east, since when Hampsthwaite village has extended considerably in this direction with much post-war backland development.
The approach to the village from Clint and Birstwith is through the river valley and St Thomas a Becket’s Church forms a focal point set within the peaceful meadowland. The entrance to the village from the north is enhanced by the narrow seventeenth century Hampsthwaite Bridge over the River Nidd.
Hampsthwaite Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2009) Map Insert
Key Views – The first view of the village from the south is from Hookstone Garth, an elevated position from which the village is seen nestling in the valley below. One then passes into the relatively narrow and enclosed High Street, where houses abut directly onto the footpath where views open out onto the village green. There are good views from the green through gaps in the built form enabling long views of hills and farmland to the north-east, however views out of the village are largely limited by buildings and boundary walls until one emerges from the village street directly into open countryside.
Additionally there are good views down Church Lane to the Lychgate, from Greenside House gateway to the west towards Grosvenor Hall and along the river in both directions from Hampsthwaite Bridge.
Hampsthwaite has a number of rights of way consisting of Public Footpaths and Bridleways. The footpaths from the village are signposted at their starting points next to metalled roads and are subsequently way marked with arrows fixed to fence posts and stiles along the route. Many of the lanes and tracks into the village provide access into open fields around the village. One such path, known locally as ‘The Medieval Way’, that leads up to Saint Thomas a Becket’s Church is laid with stone and sheltered by hedges and trees on either side. It is understood that Hampsthwaite belongs to an initiative known as the ‘Parish Paths Partnership’; this scheme ensures that the Public Footpaths and Bridleways within the Parish are kept in order.
In addition there are also narrow passages and ginnels between housing and round the back of housing to the beck and also to open countryside such as next to the Village Room on the High Street. There is a well-known walk around the valley of the River Nidd in North Yorkshire, featuring gritstone outcrops and rough, open moor-land. The unsigned Nidd Valley Link (45½ km) connects Hampsthwaite, on the Nidderdale Way, with the confluence of the Nidd and Ouse at Nun Monkton, from where walkers can follow the Ouse into York. Some of these routes are ancient packhorse routes and so are of historical interest.
Hampsthwaite Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2009) Map Insert
Significant Field Boundaries – A number of individual trees lie along these hedge boundaries, which also add depth and wooded cover to the landscape setting of the village. Whilst some of the hedgerows are of poor condition and some have disappeared altogether, the remaining hedgerows are likely to be of botanical as well as historic and landscape interest. Some hedges and walls along parish boundaries, old roads and tracks are likely to date back to the medieval period. Most were laid out in successive enclosures from the late Middle Ages through to the nineteenth century. It is therefore important to preserve and enhance the ancient hedge boundaries for their historical and wildlife value.
In relation to a planning application for football pitches in 2009 on site HM9 the Borough Council Landscape Officer stated then;
“The proposals are in conflict with Hampsthwaite Conservation Appraisal” and Specifically identified within the appraisal are key views between building and Laurel Cottage across the application site to open countryside beyond. In addition key views are indentified as more generally from the High Street, where houses abut directly onto the footpath where views open out onto the village green. There are also views form the village green through gaps in the built form enabling long views of the hills and farmland to the north-east.”
Concluding “The existing field formerly planted with corn and is situated on the boundary of the Hampsthwaite Conservation Area. More specifically the boundary walls of the field on the boundary are within the Conservation Area. The rear residential curtilage of Laurel Cottage, a grade II listed building and other buildings on the High Street which are within the Hampsthwaite Conservation Area boundary, all abut this site. As such this makes the site extremely sensitive in landscape terms…”
There are 16 buildings in Hampsthwaite that are included on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, all are grade II;
Church of St Thomas a Becket, (modified & restored in 1902 with earlier features) Church Lane
Sundial, Church Street, 1672
Table Tomb, 1702
Hampsthwaite Bridge, 1640
Manor Farm, Cross Green, early C19
The Old Parsonage, Cross Green, C18
Sundial, Cross Green, C19
High Stone Cottage, High Street, C18
Mally’s Cottage & Thompson’s Garth , Main Street, C17 &C18
K6 Telephone Kiosk, Village Green, 1935
Laurel Cottage, High Street, 1764
Mounting Block, High Street
Cockhill Packhorse Bridge, High Street, circa. C17
The Grange and attached Barn, High Street, C17
Grove House and Rowden House, High Street, 1676
The Old Mill, Rowden Lane, C19
Listed buildings of particular note in the village include the Church of St Thomas a Becket. The present church was built in 1902 from the materials of the old one. There are remains of the Saxon building in the fifteenth century tower and Celtic crosses are set into the porch. The church register dates from 1610. Early Christian gravestones found on the site are incorporated into the building itself. The Church is dedicated to St Thomas a Becket of Canterbury. The main building is of a coursed squared gritstone and ashlar and grey slate roof. The South porch has a chamfered arch, the side walls include medieval and seventeenth century inscriptions and tomb slabs. The windows of the Church are in perpendicular style. The gable has coping and finial detailing to the east end.
Any development beyond the village boundary and particularly of site HM9 would be detrimental to the integrity of the conservation area and the enclosure of the village.
Detrimental Impact and loss of agricultural land.
Detrimental Impact and loss of biodiversity and habitats.
As shown on the Environment Agency maps the risk from river flooding is a significant issue around the floodplains particularly those of the River Ure and River Nidd.
Hampsthwaite village together with Spofforth are the Primary Service villages most affected from the proximity of major floodplain in flood zones two and three as shown on the plans.
Having undertaken an assessment of the main planning, sustainability and accessibility (accessibility) issues in relation to the strategic allocation made by the Borough Council the overwhelming conclusion is that there is greater planning merit and benefit and less environmental detriment in developing other areas of Harrogate Borough. Site HMP9 should not be allocated.