Harrogate Spring Water to scale back expansion plans as it seeks 'to put town at heart of its business'

Harrogate Spring Water has announced it is to revert to its original 2017 plan, covering a smaller area than the 2019 proposals.

By Graham Chalmers
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 5:34 pm

The business says it has taken on board feedback from the community and is now looking to move forward

Harrogate Spring Water says the expansion will create over 30 new jobs for local people with at least 25 jobs during the construction process and boost the local economy by over £1.3m a year

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Richard Hall, new managing director at Harrogate Spring Water, said: “The town of Harrogate and the local community are at the heart of our business."

Harrogate Spring Water has also announced new public consultation over its plans to expand operations in the town.

Since 2017, Harrogate Spring Water has had outline planning permission to expand its production facilities on its site on Harlow Moor Road.

The company is now putting together a “Reserved Matters” application which will detail how the new building will look and how the surrounding area will be landscaped.

Before putting in the proposals to Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate Spring Water says it wants to hear from members of the local community about how they would like to see the expansion carried out.

The company will then organise a series of public consultation events next month where people will get to have their say on the design and landscaping of the proposed extension and surrounding land.

It says it is these views will help to shape the final application which will then go on public display before being submitted to the council.

Richard Hall, new managing director at Harrogate Spring Water, said: “The town of Harrogate and the local community are at the heart of our business.

"So it is important for us to ensure that, as we look to grow, create further job opportunities and continue to support the local and regional economy, we also listen to them.

“That’s why we are now encouraging people to engage with us on this process, to give us the benefit of their views and to help shape the future of the company.

“We have a shared interest in driving prosperity for the town and creating a sustainable future for a key business that takes the Harrogate name around the UK and the world, and we hope that this process will allow us to come to a resolution which addresses people’s concerns and the town’s aspirations.”

Harrogate Spring Water secured outline planning permission for its expansion in 2017 with a plan that was passed unanimously by the council following an extensive public consultation exercise involving various stakeholder groups.

But in 2019, the company put forward new proposals to increase the size of that expansion. That application was turned down by Harrogate Borough Council despite being recommended for approval by planning officials.

Having taken stock, Harrogate Spring Water says it is now reverting to its original 2017 plan, covering a smaller area than the 2019 proposals, and is again inviting stakeholder groups and the public to give their views on what the new building and surrounding landscaping should look like.

Richard Hall said: “We have thought long and hard about the concerns raised about the 2019 plan, we have taken on board the feedback from the community and we are now looking to move forward.

“By reverting to the original plan and again consulting on what the final development could look like, we are going back to previously agreed plans and taking what we believe is a real gold standard approach on responsible development.”

Proceeding with the original 2017 plan reduces the size and impact of the extension compared with the 2019 proposals.

The company says is looking into ways to achieve net biodiversity gain for the site, pursuing proposals to carry out a compensatory tree planting scheme and there is also the potential to make Rotary Wood more accessible to the public, create more shared areas or to leave the land as it is, depending on the outcome of the public consultation.

The extension to Harrogate Spring Water’s building could also have a green roof, a living wall or other features.

The expansion will help to create over 30 new jobs for local people, says, Harrogate Spring Water, in addition to at least 25 jobs during the construction process.

In doing so, it will boost the level of economic output generated (GVA) by around £1.3m a year, it adds. Business rates, contributing to the funding of public services, will also increase by over £900,000 a year.

Richard Hall said: “We feel it is vital for us as a business to take our environmental responsibilities seriously.

“We also want to work in partnership with the local community on this. We want them to help shape the woodland into the resource which they would like to see and ensure our extension blends in as well as it can into the surrounding area.

“By engaging meaningfully with local residents, stakeholder groups and the public, we feel this represents the best and fairest way forward for everyone.”

The public meeting will be held next month and there will also be an opportunity for people to have their say via a dedicated webpage at https://www.harrogatespring.com/facility-extension/

There will also be an opportunity for people to have their say via a dedicated webpage at https://www.harrogatespring.com/facility-extension/ that also has some additional information.