We understand that you have questions
While we can’t anticipate every question that you might have, here are a few that might be relevant to your thoughts:
Why is Harrogate Borough Council planning for higher housing numbers than those produced by the Government's proposed standard methodology?
The Council’s assessment of annual housing need for the purposes of the Local Plan period is actually very close to that produced by the Government’s proposed methodology. However, the Government methodology produces a minimum figure, which does not allow for economic growth.
The Council have appropriately and correctly added an allowance for economic growth, which is entirely consistent with the Government’s guidance for the proposed standard methodology and this allowance is well supported by research and evidence which forms part of the Council’s proposed Local Plan.
Who will make the final decision of where the new settlement will be?
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 Council would then submit their proposed Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government during the summer of 2018 for examination by a Government Planning Inspector during the winter of 2018/19. During the examination stage it is possible for the public and interested parties to make representations to the Planning Inspector.
If the Planning Inspector had no major concerns with the draft Local Plan then the Local Plan could be finally agreed and adopted in 2019.
Why can’t these new homes be built somewhere else?
The Borough of Harrogate is a rural area which has many limitations on new development. It contains both Green Belt and the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Parts of the Borough are relatively remote and far from centres of employment and major roads, with limited public transport provision and local services.
The number of new homes that the Council is planning for can only realistically be met by including a new settlement alongside the Council’s plans for new developments in many of the existing villages and towns in the Borough. Trying to spread all of the required new homes across the existing villages and towns would create new unmanageable scattered demands for school places, health services and transport improvements, whereas focusing a large proportion of the new homes in one place provides the scale necessary to sustain a new school, health and community facilities.
When would building start?
The start of development is dependent on when the Council’s Local Plan is finally agreed and adopted, as well as the time required to prepare detailed designs for the first phases of the development and the infrastructure improvements, obtain the necessary planning and technical approvals and prepare the site for development.
Assuming that the Council does follow a DPD process for the new settlement, based on the forecast number of housing completions in the proposed Local Plan and our previous experience of large projects, construction of the infrastructure for the new settlement would start in 2022 and the first homes would be completed in late 2024 – note that these dates are just indicative as they are dependent on the progress of the Local Plan and DPD process.
How would Maltkiln Village avoid overloading local services?
Maltkiln Village will be designed and implemented to ensure that new local services are opened in the first phases of the development. These will benefit not just the new residents but also those living in the surrounding area, actually reducing the burden on existing local services in the surrounding area.
How would the roads and railway be improved to cope with the increased demand created by Maltkiln Village?
The proposals for Maltkiln Village include major upgrades to the road network and railway facilities to increase their capacity and provide tangible improvements to both highway and rail safety – the major changes will include replacement of the Whixley crossroads with a new roundabout on the A59 and replacement of the level crossing at Cattal station with new road and pedestrian bridges over the railway.
North Yorkshire County Council, Highways England and Network Rail already have plans to improve junction 47 of the A1(M) and the railway line between Harrogate and York. Our proposals are entirely compatible with their plans and the work on funding and implementation of those improvements.
Would there be new homes for local people?
We have committed to ensuring that Maltkiln Village will comply with the Council’s affordable housing policy, which means that new family homes, starter homes and homes for older people would be provided for both rent and shared ownership.
Our aim is to create a real community at Maltkiln Village and we are in discussions with a number of carefully selected Yorkshire based housebuilders, housing associations and care providers who are willing and able to provide a wide variety of homes that meet the needs of people of all ages.
There will also be serviced self-build plots which can be bought by people who either wish to build their own homes or have them built by small contractors to their personal design and specifications.
Where can I find more information about the Maltkiln Village site?
Oakgate submitted a considerable amount of technical information to the Council in December 2016, including our proposed masterplan plus technical reports on the heritage, landscape, ecology, transport, noise and environmental impacts. These reports, a useful summary document and our subsequent submissions regarding ground conditions and phasing can be viewed using these links:
We will update this publicly accessible folder of reports and details of the proposals when additional or updated information becomes available.