New solution to 'Pinewoods' trees threat controversy?

A map courtesy of of where the new trees would be sited on Harlow. (Courtesy of the Pinewoods Conservation Group)
A map courtesy of of where the new trees would be sited on Harlow. (Courtesy of the Pinewoods Conservation Group)

The Pinewoods Conservation Group (PCG) will tonight, Thursday publish a proposal to expand the Pinewoods footprint at their annual general meeting.

The Pinewoods, situated between Valley Gardens and RHS Harlow Carr, forms part of a key green triangle towards the south of Harrogate but is under constant threat by neighbouring building developments.

A recent planning application was also submitted by Harrogate Spa Water Limited (HSWL) to build a 5,000 sq meter extension on a four-acre section of the Pinewoods current footprint, known as Rotary Wood.

The proposal, initially suggested by a PCG member, will recommend that the Council Nursery site adjacent to the Pinewoods is transformed into a new wooded and wildlife friendly area once vacated.

The Council Nursery site, currently owned by Harrogate Council, was included in the recent draft local plan as a potential housing site but received many objections.

A spokesperson for Pinewoods Conservation Group said: “We know that our members and local residents are very concerned about the potential loss of woodland.

“If planning permission is given for the HSWL extension we would expect a condition to be applied under the councils own “two for one” tree replacement policy that an additional eight acres of woodland to be found.

“We feel that the council-owned nursery site would be ideal for this purpose.”

“Whilst the council nurseries are still operational, it may take a number of years for the proposal to come to fruition.

“It would also need the cooperation of both HSWL and Harrogate Council but would be an exciting legacy project for all parties.

“As such we feel this would be a more appropriate use of the site and this proposal would result in a net gain in green space for Harrogate residents.“

The open meeting with discussion will take place at the Green Hut or Harlow Avenue from 7pm.

It is expected that representatives from both Harrogate Council and Harrogate Spa Water Limited will be in attendance.