If you go down to the woods…

The Hunting Archer Sculpture

 

Over the past 12 months, NP has been assisting the Woodland Trust with the first stages of a major investment programme for its flagship attraction, Skipton Woods, in North Yorkshire.

Nestling in the shadow of the historic Skipton Castle, the ancient woodland site of Skipton Woods is one of only 2 Visit England-accredited ‘Destination Woods’ in the North of England, reflecting its popularity with both local people and tourists from further afield.

 

Given this strategic importance, the Trust is planning a series of projects to enhance the Woods appeal to visitors and better reveal its history, landscape and other characteristics.

So far NP has helped secure planning permission for new public art sculpture installations and access improvement works.

 

 

 

Northern Planners is proud to count the Woodland Trust amongst its environmental charity clients (we also for example undertake work for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)

We wish them  all the best for their plans in 2019.

You Snooze, you Lose !

The Bar land site, east Knaresborough

Northern Planners empathise with Knaresborough residents, following the recent decision by Harrogate Borough Council to grant outline planning permission for 175 houses to the east of the town off Bar Lane. Local people have been shocked by the approval seeing it as an unwarranted intrusion into the landscape setting of Knaresborough.

In granting the scheme this month, however, the Council’s Planning Committee struggled to find any planning justification for resisting the scheme given the lack of an up to date Local Plan for the Borough and the barely adequate housing land supply available locally.

It is most unfortunate that 15 years on from the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act and 18 years on from the adoption of the last comprehensive Local Plan, the district does not have a modern policy framework at local level to guide critical development decisions that have public backing.

Without investment in Local Plans that have had proper public engagement and support, Councils can’t be surprised that their electorate may be angry when applications are approved that seem to breach established principles and threaten cherished environments.

Harrogate Borough Council’s  failure to produce a competent Local Plan in recent times has left it vulnerable to proposals of this type, which although bringing some benefits, are seen by many as being simply imposed on places due to a crisis situation and the ‘power’ of national planning diktat.

As the Americans say: you snooze, you lose. When the Council do get round to having a new Plan in place, there is a real danger that in a majority of the borough’s communities, that document will not be leading the development process – it will simply be recording what has already happened by default.