Readers’ Letters: Harrogate is short of social housing – not luxury apartments
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Last updated Mar 15, 2024

Readers’ Letters is a weekly column giving you the chance to have your say on issues affecting the Harrogate district. It is an opinion column and does not reflect the views of the Stray Ferret. Send your views to [email protected].


This letter is in response to two stories. One was about plans to convert King’s Club, a former Harrogate strip club, into luxury flats, and the other revealed plans to turn the former Knaresborough cattle market into a commercial unit. 

North Yorkshire Council should take the opportunity to provide social housing on these sites.

We are not short of executive homes and luxury apartments, but genuinely affordable homes and social housing are desperately needed.

Harrogate is largely dependent upon conference and tourism to provide jobs but these are not high-waged occupations.

People who would otherwise be able to do this work cannot afford to live in Harrogate.

Diane Stokes, Harrogate


Scant information about Harrogate’s ‘new town’ causing community despair

This letter is in response to a feature about how Harrogate’s ‘new town’ is fuelling worries about local roads.

Thank you for the excellent article in the Stray Ferret on the ‘new town’ around Harrogate’s Western Arc.

I have been involved with Harlow and Pannal Residents Association for over ten years, during which time we have been campaigning on the scale of development and the weak or non-existent infrastructure to support this level of development.

Our message has fallen on the deaf ears of the planning authority, the highways authority and the planning inspectorate throughout that period, despite claims that the authorities have ‘engaged’ with us as stakeholders.

North Yorkshire Council, no doubt through limited resources, appear to rely in large part on the private developers to identify the problems with the road and transport network and to come up with the solutions which unsurprisingly amount to very little.   Fundamentally, the studies quantifying the impacts of development have still not yet been produced, either by the developers or the Council, yet a list of ‘mitigations’ is about to be signed off by the Council.  This is what Rene refers to as ‘wrong way round’.  Needless to say, we and the public at large, have not been informed about the cumulative transport assessment which is key to identifying and resolving the problems.

The sheer length of time this has taken, the constant delays, missed targets and scant information have all contributed to a sense of frustration and despair within the community.

We all know that roads in this area are in a very poor condition with widespread potholes and temporary patches. Years of construction activity followed by the impact of thousands of extra vehicles on the country lanes and residential streets in this part of Harrogate present an alarming prospect for residents.

David Siddans, Harrogate

Crimple Valley needs protecting – not developing

This letter is in response to developers reviving plans to build 17 homes in Harrogate’s Crimple Valley.

If planning permission is granted for this application, then as sure as night follows day another application for more housing will follow.

I have lived in Pannal for 60 years and the A61 Leeds Road is a very dangerous road. There have been numerous accidents on and near the bridge. Two acquaintances of mine were tragically killed outside Almsford Bank Stables a few years ago.

Traffic is very fast-moving, due to the road being downhill.

The Crimple Valley is a lovely walk and needs more protection than it currently has.

Harrogate is being overdeveloped and needs more green spaces not less.

Anne Smith, Pannal


Do you have an opinion on the Harrogate district? Email us at [email protected]. Please include your name and approximate location details. Limit your letters to 350 words. We reserve the right to edit letters.


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