Revealed: New plans for Crescent Gardens in Harrogate with roof garden restaurant and more

New plans to redevelop the controversial Crescent Gardens site in Harrogate in a “sensitive way” are set to be submitted  including two extra levels, a gym and a roof restaurant.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 4:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 4:32 pm
An artists's impression of how Crescent Gardens in Harrogate would look under new redevelopment plans. (Image courtesy of Impala Estates)

After acquiring the former council offices from Harrogate Borough Council in January this year, Impala Estates Limited have now developed a scheme to bring the building back into use and will shortly be submitting their planning application.

James Hartley from Impala Estates said the structure of the building was originally designed for more than the two floor levels currently in place, so their plans would incorporate a further two levels, set back from the front and rear elevations, in a contemporary design.

Mr Hartley said “Our aim is to bring the building back into use by developing it in a sensitive way that fits in with the diverse architecture in the surrounding area. We hope to create flexible office and public space in a central part of town.”

The new prospective redevelopment of a building, which had been used by Harrogate council from the 1930’s until late 2017, follows the collapse of flamboyant Harrogate property developer Adam Thorpe’s failed £75 million dream to convert Crescent Gardens into luxury apartments.

In December 2017 Mr Thorpe told the Sunday Times his development would include world class luxury apartments with prices of up to £12 million each.

Less than two years later in June 2019 after a series of delays, Harrogate Borough Council put the 37,900 sq ft building at Crescent Gardens back on the open market.

Impala’s new proposals are to refurbish the building up to an energy-efficient standard for use as offices for multiple occupancy.

These will incorporate meeting rooms, gym and shower facilities and a roof garden restaurant.

The meeting rooms will include the spaces previously used as the Council Chamber and Mayor’s Parlour, which, together with the restaurant, will be available for use by the public.

Harrogate Borough Council has previously said it believed the redevelopment of Crescent Gardens would bring important community benefits, as well as providing the council with an significant capital receipt.

At the time, it was part of the council’s town centre masterplan aiming to set out a vision for the future of the town which would encourage investment and ensure Harrogate’s economic prosperity.

The sale of Crescent Gardens had originally been announced in 2014 as the council moved to consolidate its various buildings into a single, purpose-built civic centre.

But civic groups have long had major concerns about the redevelopment both in terms of the financial aspects and a perceived lack of a public role for the building.

Last year respected local group Harrogate Civic Society condemned the original plans as amounting to the “demolition” of Crescent Gardens.

Some voices continue to push in favour of turning Crescent Gardens into “a Cultural Quarter” with its hub centred on the core of the existing building that would include the original Council Chamber, Mayor’s Parlour, the grand staircase and a couple of adjacent rooms on each floor.Harrogate Borough Council have completed the sale of its former offices

Impala Estates is a privately owned family run property investment company specialising in the letting and development of commercial and industrial property across the north of england.

Mr Hartley also said the firm was looking at undertaking an online public consultation.

Plans, elevations and drawings of what the building will look like can be seen by visiting www.crescentgardens.co.uk

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