Green-tech science park plans could generate thousands of jobs across Harrogate

An artists impression of how the park could look. Image: Smalley Marsey Rispin Architects (s).
An artists impression of how the park could look. Image: Smalley Marsey Rispin Architects (s).

Outline plans have been submitted for a new state-of-the-art science technology park in Flaxby that could generate thousands of new jobs and become a ‘gateway for 21st Century Harrogate.’

The Flaxby Green Park development would be sited near the junction of the A59 and A1 (M) and cost close to £85 million to construct according to planning documents submitted on behalf of Forward Investments LLP by Addison Planning Consultants Ltd.

An artists impression of how the park could look. Image: Smalley Marsey Rispin Architects (s).

An artists impression of how the park could look. Image: Smalley Marsey Rispin Architects (s).

Emulating Cambridge and York Science Parks the site will potentially generate more than 2,800 on site jobs by attracting bio-science and R&D companies to the area.

Current demand in these sectors is believed to provide an opportunity for attracting long-standing investment in to the area.

Forward Investment’s property consultant, Rupert Visick said: “Flaxby Green Park is proposed as a state of the art science technology park that will harness green technologies in its design and which will be developed as a gateway site for 21st Century Harrogate.

“The benefits of the scheme are wide ranging; not just significant job creation and economic development for the district but ensuring local companies have somewhere to expand to ensure Harrogate companies stay in Harrogate.

“The woodlands will be enhanced, public access facilitated – significant new volumes of trees will be planted and ecological habitats will be enhanced. In all the developers of Flaxby

Green Park are aiming to deliver a science and technology park of which Harrogate people will be proud.”

Plans have also been submitted for a housing development on the nearby former Flaxby Golf by Flaxby Park Ltd.

Access to the site will also be improved after junction 47 of the A1 (M) was identified as a constraint to development and economic activity.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and Highway England will be undertaking a £3.5 million project to add a traffic signal control on the roundabout and widening the slip roads off the A1 (M).

NYCC executive member for highways, road safety, access to the countryside and public transport, Coun Don Mackenzie said: “Later this year the county council, working with Highways England, expect to make improvements to the junction which will help to address current congestion and safety problems.

“Should all the proposed developments happen in the longer term there is likely to be a need for further improvements but this scheme has been designed to cater for traffic over the next few years and to ensure that it does not compromise the ability to deliver the major improvements that will be required at the junction in the longer term.”

Residents however have voiced concerns over the long term impact of the development, with some pointing to the proposed work by NYCC as evidence of a potential problem.

Arkendale, Coneythorpe and Clareton Parish Coun Jon West said: “On Junction 47 NYCC could add traffic lights soon because of the current issue. So before anyone adds something extra they have acknowledged the issue or NYCC would not be dealing with it in this way.

“This is a major concern for travellers around here. Anything that generates employment is good but this is a gateway to Harrogate, planners seem to be so shorted sighted.”

Although still in the outline stage developers have responded to infrastructure concerns with claims that road and public transport improvements are part of the sites plans.

Mr Visick said: “Highways impacts have been exhaustively investigated and detailed mitigation measures developed in consultation with the statutory agencies; improvements to theadjacent road network will be secured, public transport enhanced, and sustainable travel planning measures incorporated into the use of the business park.

“High design aspirations, and transport mitigation will all be secured through appropriate planning controls including conditions and legal agreements.”