CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a massive new settlement west of York - dubbed Great Hammerton - say they’re confident they will persuade a planning inspector their objections are "compelling".

A final consultation about Harrogate Borough Council’s draft Local Plan, which includes proposals to allocate land between Green Hammerton and Kirk Hammerton - or an alternative site at nearby Cattal - for up to 3,000 new homes, finishes tomorrow. The plan will then be submitted to the Government for review later in the year and will go to a public inquiry.

Now the Keep Kirk Hammerton Green and Keep Green Hammerton Green action groups have revealed that they have appointed a planning expert to assist them in their battle to get the new settlement sited at a third location - Flaxby Park, on the other side of the A1.

A spokeswoman said villagers had been arguing that building on agricultural land and green field sites was unacceptable and that the site was unsustainable with no infrastructure, poor transport links, no local jobs and an already very busy A59, which was unsuitable for a potential additional 6,000 cars.

Chris Eaton, co-chair of the action groups, said: “We feel the rationale behind having the 3,000 houses at the ‘Great Hammerton’ site is fundamentally flawed on many levels and have been carrying out detailed research and compiling reports, using third party experts, which support our arguments.

“We hope that villagers will make themselves heard via the consultation process by lodging objections by this Friday.

“We are confident that when our objections are seen by the Independent Planning Inspectorate they will be compelling. This is especially important as Flaxby Park does offer a solution with far fewer drawbacks.

“Having the new houses at Flaxby will also help direct new residents’ disposable income towards Knaresborough and Harrogate which need a boost.

“Putting a huge development on the east side of the A1 in the extreme east of the district where people tend to gravitate towards York doesn’t make economic sense for Harrogate.”