COMMENT: Both sides must be heard in bitter dispute over Harrogate Spring Water expansion

Reaction to our report on Harrogate Spring Water last week was as intense as it was emotional. Some angry, some raw, some even vitriolic, but all carrying the same, abundantly clear, message.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 5:13 pm

Opposition to the firm’s expansion plans - which would see the existing Harlow Moor Road bottling plant encroaching into the much-loved Rotary Wood - remains fierce and unmoved.

A divisive saga, which has rumbled on for more than three years, the question of whether one of Harrogate’s most successful and world-renowned businesses is allowed to expand has become one of the town’s bitterest and most contested battlefields.

On the one hand we have a company, which has undoubtedly done a great deal of good for the name of its town, wanting to push on and safeguard its future with a ‘crucial’ expansion.

Harrogate Spring Water is hoping to expand its current bottling site on Harlow Moor Road, but has come up against stiff opposition from campaigners who do not want to see Rotary Wood damaged.

On the other we have the campaigners who are understandably concerned about what impact this development will have on their environment - a woodland planted by our own Rotary Club.

It is not just a ‘green’ argument, however. The very fact that our residents enjoy the wood on a daily basis, seeing it as a welcome oasis against the strains and stresses of their busy lives means there is an emotional attachment which cannot be ignored.

Last week’s feature in the Harrogate Advertiser was designed to give Harrogate Spring Water their say. We have run with many articles in the past focusing on the campaign against the plans, this was their chance to respond. It was always our intention to follow it up with reaction from campaigners this week to balance the argument.

The Harrogate Advertiser will continue to provide balanced coverage of this story, just as it always has, offering both sides of the argument... even if you don’t agree with them.

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