Harrogate developer Adam Thorpe’s plans for a £75 million luxury redevelopment of one of the town’s landmark buildings are reaching a crucial stage with progress being made.
Despite delays, criticism and concern, the developer’s company ATP (Crescent Gardens) Ltd is deep in talks to hit the final “milestones” in order to submit a full planning application for the former site of Harrrogate Council’s headquarters by April next year.
After taking up a lease on the land outside Crescent Gardens and renting an office inside the building itself, Mr Thorpe is now in discussions with the local authorities to get permission to stop traffic from using the road in front of the former civic asset.
Should the current pre-planning applications continue to progress, the developer is expected to submit a full planning via its architects Squire & Partner and the ‘stopping up order’ on Crescent Road at the same time - or risk breaching its contract with Harrogate Borough Council.
The council’s leader Coun Richard Cooper said Mr Thorpe was now on his way to meeting the ‘milestones’ required to take his plans to transform the old headquarters into ten to 14 apartments and two penthouses at prices ranging from £2.5m to £10 million each.
Coun Cooper said: “The development of the building is progressing according to a timetable of milestones.
“The last milestone was the completion of tasks required prior to a planning application being submitted.
“From that point, the purchaser has six months to submit a planning application.”
“The final milestones are planning consent and the stopping up order which are tied up together.
“ATP have six months from the agreement to lease the open space outside Crescent Gardens, which was about six weeks ago, to sort these out otherwise they will be in breach of contract.”
At the time this bid was first accepted by the council in March 2017, Mr Thorpe said he hoped to be applying for planning permission “within the next few weeks” and that he expected to begin actual work in summer 2017 ready for completion in 2020.
Delays have fuelled concern by civic groups and some councillors that the luxurious project was simply too ambitious.
Harrogate Civic Society is on record as opposing the idea, saying in its opinion it was unworkable.
But the Harrogate Advertiser understands that ATP currently has a pre-planning application under discussion with members of Harrogate Borough Council’s planning services and North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department.
There is believed to have been at least one joint pre-planning meeting so far involving the two councils, ATP and ATP’s professional consultants.
And several more are already planned for the New Year.