Open hand to opponents of Harrogate Yoga Centre's outdoor sessions

Anne-Marie Burford, her son James and students in the garden
Anne-Marie Burford, her son James and students in the garden

The owners of a yoga centre in Harrogate have offered to open their doors to opponents of their approved plans to host outdoor classes and retreats.

Christopher and Anne-Marie Burford of The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing at 40, Duchy Road received permission for their new sessions with conditions, including classes being restricted by set hours and the number of retreats set to six a year.

While pleased at the result the couple are now posing an offer to those concerned at the plans.

Mrs Burford said: “I think this will allow us to continue our work, helping people in a natural way with natural methods.

“Everyone is very welcome to see what we are doing and get a deeper understanding of how we do it.

“This can only help what we are able to do in the wider community.”

She added: “We just want to live with people and get on with everyone, this lets us carry on with our work doing the best to support the community.

“Everyone is welcome to take part, so if they were concerned about the application and what we are doing here they can come in and get a better understanding.

“We just want to be really inclusive in what we do.”

More than 130 written letters of support were sent in to planners at Harrogate Borough Council.

Their outreach with charities was highlighted as unique within the county by one supporter, who described their work with Help for Heroes.

Charles Holleran wrote: “The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing is unique in its use of Yoga Nidra in the treatment of Veterans with

PTSD.

“The one day courses run for Veterans in conjunction with Help for Heroes are invaluable in helping them to deal with PTSD without the use of medication.

“The number of cases of Veterans suffering from PTSD is increasing and the type of treatment is invaluable.

“Very few centres offer this type of treatment in North Yorkshire and in the North East so it is imperative that the Centre should be able to expand its treatment.”

Letters of opposition to the plans highlighted concerns including a potential increase in parking and a growing business being sited in a conservation area.

A spokesperson for the Duchy Residents Association said: "The Residents Association is glad that this has been resolved and the Council have come to a compromise which will hopefully ensure that the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing can continue to provide a range of classes while maintaining the residential nature of the Conservation Area".