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The Future of Harrogate, the Green Belt and the Nidd Gorge

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Harrogate Borough Council is undertaking a Public Consultation Exercise on Harrogate’s future development. If you want your voice to be heard you should register on their website now. If you are not registered as a consultee before November 2016 any subsequent comments you make will not be taken into account.

The link is:

The Draft Local Development Plan will determine whether private developers’ proposals to build in the Statutory Green Belt between Bilton, Starbeck and Knaresborough is permitted. The Bilton Conservation Group’s position is that the Green Belt is a Buffer Zone protecting the Nidd Gorge; preventing Harrogate from engulfing Knaresborough. It should be kept as open farmland, free from Housing and Industrial Development.

Proposals were put to Harrogate Council in 1986, 1996, 2006 and again in 2016 to permit development of hundreds of acres of Open Greenfield behind Bogs Lane and into the Bilton Triangle. Vigorous campaigns every decade, across Knox, Bilton and Starbeck have succeeded so far to maintain this precious Green Belt from unwanted Urban Sprawl.

Bilton is under provided for Open Green space. The ‘Green Lung’ of the Bilton Triangle has provided Bilton residents with an open vista of the countryside beyond and many Public Rights of Way cross its open fields. Although it is private farm land it provides a perception of open countryside and relief for the residents of the tightly packed Victorian streets who value the light and air it brings to their community.. It also protects the distinctly different characters of the settlements of Starbeck and Bilton from merging into bland ‘suburbia’.

Register your interest and make your views known to the council if you value our countryside.