Burton Leonard – Local Development Framework – November 2010

The Parish Council would like to share some thoughts and information regarding the LDF development proposal for the village.  We shall shortly be touring the village with a petition which will oppose the scale of the development.  Further information will also be available at www.burtonleonard.org.uk.  You should have received your consultation paper and questionnaire by now; if you haven’t please call 01423 556666 or further information can be found at http://www.harrogate.gov.uk/immediacy-6695.

The current proposal is to develop on the sites of the Hymas yard and the adjoining Hawbers Farm and the field running down to the corner.  This site has been earmarked for 44 new houses, about a 20% increase in the size of the village and probably 90+ extra cars.  In addition to 44 new houses, Harrogate are proposing that 1 Ha of land (about 2.5 acres) be used for employment.  They will not specify what this means, so we have no idea if we will be looking at offices, industrial units or warehouse etc.  This scale of development is not in proportion to the village’s need for housing and is almost double the housing growth rate proposed across the whole district.

What we do know is that any such usage will result in a substantial increase in traffic and noise in the village.  Several people have suggested that the relocation of the Hymas haulage business would be good because it could remove the HGVs from the village roads.   The Parish Council cannot agree that this would be beneficial to the village.  We already know how much extra speeding traffic comes through the village to access the Jubilee Mills site at Copgrove.  The Hymas traffic is mainly early morning and then evening and the business owners are always concerned that their drivers show care when in the village; Industrial units or offices would see an increase in traffic throughout the day probably without any similar concern for the safety of pedestrians and other road users.

The Parish Council opposes both the scale of the proposed development and the industrial component.  If you are supportive of the Parish Council views then please use this information to complete the questionnaire which should have been delivered with your newspaper.  If you do not have a copy of the consultation questionnaire then you can downloaded it from the above website, complete it and email to ldf@harrogate.gov.uk or post to the LDF FREEPOST address (shown on the questionnaire).  It is really important that your comments are sent by 26th November which is the end of the consultation period. 

The Parish Council suggest that residents oppose RL3040 and the HBC suggested changes to the development limit.  PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT ANY LARGE SITES.

 The Parish Council has previously suggested the following sites:

RL90 (Orchard behind Oakley House), RL2056 (derelict property at the eastern end of Mill Lane), RL1021 (adjacent to reservoir, Station Lane), R1041 (Old loudspeaker factory adjacent Flats House).

The village infrastructure is inadequate to handle growth of this scale.  Harrogate’s own ‘Infrastructure Provision for Rural Areas’ document acknowledges that the drainage system lacks capacity.  (As do the school, telephone, broadband and bus services.)

Despite repeatedly being told that the public transport system to this village is inadequate for commuting either to or from the village, HBC insist on including Burton Leonard as a category B village in clear conflict with the stated requirements of that categorisation.

The introduction of office space or industrial units in the midst of the village will result in a substantial increase in traffic and disturbance to the site during the day. We have specific concerns about morning traffic and children accessing the village school.

The proposed vehicular access to the housing is on a corner which has seen a number of accidents.   Introducing vehicular access for substantial numbers of vehicles at this point would not be advisable.

The proposed site is adjacent to, and in places inside, the village conservation area and includes a substantial area of green-field.  The recently approved Conservation Area document makes specific mention of the KEY VIEWS to and from the village across this site.  The proposed development would have a substantial negative impact on the conservation area and on the amenity of the footpaths.

There are Red Kites nesting close to the proposed development site.  We notice that no mention of this was made in the environmental audit.

Despite several requests Harrogate Borough Council have failed to provide either details of likely uses of ’employment land’ or indeed any evidence for a local need for further employment land.  Given the location of this village, there is a very small catchment area in which this village is a more convenient location than that of the large urban centres of Harrogate, Ripon, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge.  It seems likely that employment land (and indeed the housing) in this village will actually be serving as an overflow to the urban centres rather than the rural district.

The LDF preferred sites represent a failure to deliver the needs of the rural district.  Instead of encouraging small scale growth where required (as per objective 5) the LDF is intent on urbanising a substantial number of villages while leaving others to stagnate.  It is difficult to understand how this insistence on large sites is of benefit to the rural communities as opposed to the large development companies.  Small scale developments have the potential to benefit a number of smaller building companies across the rural district.

The insistence on single large sites also represents a failure to address the social aspects of rural life.  Instead of allowing ‘pepper-pot’ small developments which would encourage social integration and cohesion, the delivery of relatively large sites will lead to estates with limited integration into the village community, in effect ‘ghetto’ estates.  This will be especially the case with the proposed development in Burton Leonard where ’employment land’ will separate the new housing from the rest of the village.

The development proposed would seem to be in conflict with the Core Strategy Objectives 1, 2, 5 and 8.

Core Strategy Objectives (For Information)

1  To distribute the District’s housing requirement broadly in proportion to each settlement’s or area’s need for affordable housing.

2  To seek the use of appropriate previously developed land within the Districts six largest settlements in preference to developing greenfield land.

3  Subject to the provision of appropriate traffic management and new infrastructure, to focus the District’s growth in the town of Harrogate.

4  To ensure that Ripon, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Masham and Pateley Bridge are the main focus for housing, developing local services and employment in the rest of the District.

5  To provide small scale housing growth in the District’s smaller settlements, mainly to meet local needs and support local services whilst minimising travel to work by car.

8  To protect the countryside and Green Belt from inappropriate development.