Letter in Yorkshire Post
The Keep Hammerton Bananaton logic – nothing about whether its a good site or whether the landscape is attractive or transport sufficient. What gives Nimbys a bad name,
I WOULD like to respond to Rebecca Burnett, of Harrogate Borough Council, and her comments regarding the proposed plans for 3,000 houses at Green/Kirk Hammerton (The Yorkshire Post, August 3).
It would appear that Coun Burnett was surprised by the strength of feeling at this event. At risk of stating the blindingly obvious, let me explain to her and other members of Harrogate Borough Council planning department why residents such as myself are so angry.
The meeting she refers to was not the expected and required consultation, but rather a presentation where the developers, invited by Harrogate Borough Council, exhibited their proposed plans as if they were a done deal.
HBC’s proposed plans will see these two villages completely consumed and assimilated by an enormous housing estate with a population size of Tadcaster. No matter how council members and developers try to make this more palatable by describing it as a “new settlement” and even a “market town”, that is what it is – an enormous housing estate.
As inhabitants of these villages, we have chosen to live in a rural setting as we believe that this, for a variety of reasons, best meets the needs of our families.
By imposing this development upon us, HBC are taking away our right to choose where and how we live without our consent and against our wishes.
Our anger is further fuelled by the knowledge that all of this is due to Harrogate Borough Council’s inability to meet its planning targets. Had they met their targets in a timely manner, as we as council tax payers would expect, there would be no need for such an expansive and invasive development anywhere in the district.
The necessary housing quota could (and should) have been shared around the district in such a way that existing communities are not destroyed as a result. In other publicly-funded bodies such as health and education, an inability to meet targets is viewed as incompetence and results in judgments such as “requires improvement” or even “special measures”. Why is Harrogate Borough Council not being held to account for its inadequacies?
If Coun Burnett believes that it is “inconceivable that every person will be happy with our decision”, then perhaps it is time that Harrogate Borough Council reconsiders its obviously out of date and inaccurate tagline of “Working for you” and replaces it with a much more appropriate (but equally catchy) “Working for a few”.