Image courtesy of Pobl Group ‘Loftus Garden Village, Newport'
Why is a new settlement needed?
Harrogate Borough Council is required by national planning policies to prepare a Local Plan that identifies suitable and deliverable sites for the number of new homes that will be required between now and 2035. The Council has consistently included consideration of a new settlement of 3,000 new homes in its growth strategy as part of ensuring that the district’s housing needs can be met during the later stages of the Local Plan period and in future plan periods.
The Council’s proposed Local Plan still envisages smaller scale housing developments throughout the district, as it would be inappropriate to attempt to meet all housing needs in one location. However, the creation of a new settlement would provide the best opportunity to meet a considerable amount of future housing demand while also ensuring that:
- The necessary infrastructure and local facilities are planned and delivered as an integral part of the development
- The development is planned and delivered as an identifiable and desirable place in its own right
- There is an appropriate mix of community, leisure and employment uses to compliment the new housing
- The new housing offer is sufficiently varied to meet a wide range of local housing needs and individual circumstances
Smaller scale piecemeal development cannot provide the same comprehensive approach to planning and delivery as that of a well designed and managed new settlement.
The Council is currently considering the final draft of its proposed Local Plan at a series of committee meetings, concluding with a report to Full Council on 13th December 2017. If councillors decide to approve the officers’ recommendations at that meeting, the final draft of the Local Plan will proceed to a further period of public consultation commencing in late January 2018.
The proposed Local Plan would then be submitted to Government in summer 2018 and a Planning Inspector would examine the draft Local Plan during the winter of 2018/19 as part of deciding whether the Council’s proposals are realistic and deliverable. During the examination stage it is possible for the public and interested parties to make representations to the Planning Inspector.
The Council’s current preferred location
The Council have been considering a shortlist of alternative locations for the new settlement:
Maltkiln Village, Cattal (our proposal)
Deighton Grange, north of Wetherby
The Council announced in June 2017 that Green Hammerton was their preferred location. It subsequently published a report that explained its choice and carried out further public consultation regarding locating the development at Green Hammerton.
As a result of further analysis of the various proposals and the required delivery of new housing in the draft Local Plan, the Council published a second report in November 2017 which changed their approach.
The Council now proposes producing a Development Plan Document (DPD) to define the precise extent and content of the new settlement, within the combined area of the overlapping sites previously proposed by CEG and Oakgate. This DPD would be progressed in parallel with the progress of the draft Local Plan.
While we believe that Maltkiln Village would still be the best long term solution to meeting Harrogate Borough’s housing needs and a far more suitable location for a new settlement than Green Hammerton, Flaxby or North Deighton – as it is the only location that is centred around an existing railway station (Cattal) and does not encroach on any existing villages – we fully support the Council’s new approach and have confirmed our willingness to engage with their proposed DPD process to produce a new proposal.
The locations of the four sites are shown below.