Future of Harrogate planning set out as consultation on draft Local Plan launches

Harrogate Borough Council

Harrogate Borough Council

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Residents have been urged to make their opinions known on the draft Local Plan when it goes to consultation on Friday.

The six-week public consultation on the draft Local Plan will last until Friday, December 23 but hundreds of people have already had a sneak peak of the details.

More than 400 people attended a Pop-Up Café event on Tuesday, October 25 at Harrogate International Centre to preview the sites and policies set out in the plan.

Members of the council’s planning and policy team were on hand to answer question with the majority of those attending requesting information on the sites designated for housing.

Coun Rebecca Burnett, cabinet member for Planning and Sustainable Transport, said she expected housing to be the main topic of debate during the consultation.

She said: “Most people commented on housing and housing allocation. That was the focus depending on where people were coming from.

“Some landowners had hoped for an allocation of land who had not got one and from residents who may have wanted more housing in a certain area. We always expected that to be the case.

“We got a good response on other elements of the plan including businesses on employment land and local community groups on the issue of green spaces.”

Harrogate Borough Council will also publish evidence which shaped the plans so residents can understand why the council have made their decision.

“Sometimes there’s so much information there we don’t expect people to read through everything but it’s all there if they want it,” Coun Burnett explained.

“It allows more people to comment, they are not just looking at the plan and can understand the thinking behind it.

“My message would be that it’s really important that we as a council understand what people think. We need to know if we’ve got this right and we don’t want these opinions to be lost.”

As part of the consultation, the council will also be holding ten public exhibitions across the district in November.

These will provide an opportunity for people to view consultation materials and discuss ideas with council officers.