York & North Yorkshire

Green Hammerton: Protest held over village homes plan

Protesters at village
Image caption About 100 people turned out to protest against a large expansion of Green Hammerton

A campaign has been launched to oppose proposals to build around 2,700 homes in a North Yorkshire village.

Green Hammerton is one of two areas being considered for possible development as part of Harrogate Borough Council's housing plans.

The council said no decision had been made yet, but a leaked email claims planning officers were "minded to recommend" the site near York.

About 100 people staged a protest in opposition to the proposals.

Campaigner Chris Chelton, from the recently-formed Keep Green Hammerton Green group, claimed the development would have a "devastating effect on the community".

He said: "Our facilities just can't cope.

Our school is overwhelmed already, children are having to have classes taught in the hall and our doctors surgery is already at capacity too."

Image caption Harrogate Borough Council has been considering creating a new village in either Green Hammerton, pictured, or Flaxby

Developers said the project would include new roads, public transport, schools, healthcare, leisure and recreation.

Steve McBurney, head of planning north at CEG said: "We believe that this is the most sustainable solution to meeting housing needs from day one, as it makes use of existing infrastructure, such as the two railway stations which are within walking distance."

Green Hammerton, which is close to the A1, currently has about 675 residents. The nearby village of Flaxby has also been considered as a potential site for a new settlement by the council.

In an email leaked to the protest group and seen by the BBC, the council's director of economy and culture writes: "Planning officers have completed the work to appraise the options and are minded to recommend that Green Hammerton be included in the Local Plan as the preferred new settlement."

In a statement, Harrogate Borough Council said "no recommendation has yet been made nor a decision taken", with an update expected on Friday after a scheduled council meeting.

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