Bid to block housing

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A residents’ group in Tockwith has stepped up its opposition to a proposal to build more than 50 homes in the village’s historic conservation area.

Developers Mulgrave Properties submitted plans to build 61 houses and convert a barn into a dwelling on a stretch of field at Church Farm in the north of Tockwith, which stretches around to face the grade-II listed Church of Epiphany.

Tockwith Residents’ Association chairman Peter Pozman says that such a development would deny residents and visitors a picturesque view of the church, which he described as “the defining landmark” in the village.

“It’s about the loss of our precious heritage,” he said.

“This is something that all villagers benefit from, whether they live in listed buildings or brand new houses. Once it’s lost, it’s gone forever.”

Tockwith Residents’ Association have set up a website – Tockwith.uk – to assist locals to register objections before the development comes before Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee later this year.

Mr Pozman said the village already had infrastructure concerns, claiming that when it rains heavily sewage runs into streets and roadside ditches.

“Tockwith does not need any more houses, and its existing sewage, drainage and road infrastructure already need upgrading to cope with current demands,” he said.

“Our main street is becoming impassable at certain times with construction parking and the increased demand caused by all the cars that come with the new housing.”

Mr Pozman said the association believed it had already contributed enough to the district’s housing needs.

The group, which said it is working to protect the area from inappropriate development, has also voiced opposition to council’s plans to build more than 2000 homes near Green Hammerton to the village’s east, as part of a completely new settlement.

“It’s not about resisting development,” Mr Pozman said. “It’s about resisting over- development. We’re fighting to preserve our village.”

The proposal will have to front an upcoming planning committee for approval because it consists of more than 50 dwellings.

The farmland, identified as site TW3 in the draft local plan, sits about 430 metres west of the historic Battle of Marston Moor area.

Earlier this year a heritage assessment undertaken by architectural consultancy firm MAP Archaeological Practice states that the proposal is “sympathetic” to the nearby heritage area, with a low potential for historic deposits on the site.

The proposal includes a mix of four-bedroom (19 of the proposed homes), three-bedroom (25) and two-bedroom (18) dwellings.