Harrogate Spring Water says 'it will be good neighbours' despite losing vote

Harrogate Spring Water may not have won its battle this week for a bigger expansion but it still retains planning permission granted three years ago for the original version of plans to build a bigger bottling plant.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 4:57 pm

Speaking on behalf of the company at Tuesday’s Harrogate Borough Council planning meeting, Stuart Natkus from planning agent Barton Willmore, said 78% of the plans had been granted permission and the argument was, effectively, over extra land “the size of quarter of a football pitch”.

Which ever course of action this brand, which was taken over by French multi-national Danone last year, decides to take now, Harrogate Spring Water seems to be sticking to the five arguments it has offered before:

Harrogate Spring Water's bottling plant at Harlow Moor Road in Harrogate.

The expansion is necessary for business growth and will create new jobs for Harrogate;

Any expansion is a one-off with no further expansions in the pipeline;

The loss of biodiversity and trees at Rotary Wood will be compensated by the use of land elsewhere near the Pinewoods, including a ‘two for one’ tree planting replacement policy;

Its spa water source means the company cannot move to another site to develop;

It will act as a ‘good neighbour’ to the Pinewoods and local residents.

Speaking after the result of the vote, Rob Pickering, a senior spokesperson for the company, said: “Irrespective of this decision, we would like to reassure our local community that we are committed to keeping them informed and involved with environmental measures and landscaping developments at the Harrogate Spring Water site in future.”

The company’s planning agent, Stuart Natkus said on Tuesday he had never personally seen so much ecological work done for a project of this sort.

He told councillors, despite last year’s sale to Danone, Harrogate Spring Water’s senior management were “the same people as before”.

He added that the company, which has a ‘B Corps’ certificate for environmental performance, was looking to reduce its use of plastic further and was considering more cardboard packaging.

But, discussing the revised plans, he said HSW had not planned the exact details of the new building or the number of trees which would require replacing. That would come later in the process.

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