Letter - Town centre: A masterplan gone wrong

Harrogate Borough Council's Local Plan
Harrogate Borough Council's Local Plan
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A cursory glance at the front page of our local newspaper as I pulled it from the letterbox on a cold, grey mid April morning set me wondering.

Sun dappled, flower strewn tree lined boulevards, positively pulsing with life as throngs of lightly clad shoppers stroll care and car free.

Where is this sun drenched Utopia? As the gloom of a foggy April morning began to lift I looked again.

Ah! Harrogate, ‘The Masterplan’, the misguided vision of a myopic few, and some very well paid consultants.

Those who would have us all, young and old, on bicycles, however far we have to travel, or which local inclines we have to navigate.

Will lycra be de rigour too I wonder? And how do we get our shopping home? And visitors?

Why worry about them? What do they know about the current delights of shopping in Harrogate or it being a ‘destination town’? They can always spend their money elsewhere.

Obviously these ingenious people who run Harrogate are going to sort out the weather, too, and our town is to be forever bathed in sunlight. Quite rightly for such a beautiful place. Hurrah for Harrogate, no more wind on Prospect Place, no more drenching rain, hail or snow. We are to glory in the perpetual warmth of dancing sunbeams and enjoy sitting outside drinking exotic beverages rather than scurrying between downpours.

Hurricanes hardly happen in Harrogate after all!

As to shopping. We will be much too busy to do that with this new convivial lifestyle being bestowed upon us by the powers that be.

Mayhap we will buy the odd small item that can be popped in a pocket before saddling up and wending our way uphill to home.

After all, if we are not too sated by the sun, or puffed out from peddling, we can always go online and buy what we need and have it delivered. Especially from that large river in an equally sunny location.

Isn’t it good to know that those in charge of our town can ignore the wishes of so many and make us do what is ‘best for us’, regardless of our views? A brave new world awaits us.

Judy d’Arcy Thompson

Duchy Road, Harrogate