Harrogate Greens call for new delay to Harrogate Spring Water decision

Harrogate Green Party are stepping up their campaign to encourage Harrogate Borough Council to make the "best decision", not only for the community but also the environment when it comes to the Harrogate Spring Water 's plans for expansion near the Pinewoods.

Friday, 11th December 2020, 11:23 am
Updated Friday, 11th December 2020, 11:28 am

Harrogate and District Green Party have called on Harrogate Borough Council to grant a further extension for discussions on the planned expansion by one of the town's leading brands delaying the council planning decision beyond the scheduled date January 26.

It is also calling on the council to fully meet what it says is its "responsibility to work with local groups in finding a strategy that works for all parties.”

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'Save Rotary Wood' - Harrogate and District Green Party getting their message across at Harrogate's Valley Gardens.

Its analysis of nationally-renowned Harrogate Spring Water's plans to replant trees is that, in its opinion, there is "insufficient land and planting in the proposed scheme to replace the ecological value of the Rotary Wood."

Green Party members are also supporting a 'Save Rotary Wood' petition which has attracted more than 1,000 signatures so far.

And they are now working with Harrogate Extinction Rebellion collecting local peoples' messages in used plastic bottles which they will deliver to the Harrogate Borough Council before the planning decision.

The Green Party is calling on Harrogate Borough Council to:

Consider how they can best support a scheme to provide full compensation with particular reference to how they can help establish a wildlife corridor between Birk Crags and the Pinewoods.

Ensure that Ecological survey requirements are met by HSWL.

Ensure that the Biological Records Centre is checked for recent updates to note protected species registered on site.

Agree to allow further time for compensation plans to be discussed before the application is considered at the council's planning committee, we suggest a further three month extension given Covid restrictions and the Christmas period.

Local Green campaigner Rebecca Maunder said: “The community is acutely aware that the council gave land for the Rotary Club to plant a commemorative woodland which was planted by local groups and school children – they are now extremely concerned that 15 years later, the Council is taking this valuable land away.

"We urge the council to get involved in finding proper solutions because the meetings we have had with Harrogate Spring Water consultants to date have left us feeling there is a lack of sincerity in trying to provide full compensation for this valuable community space.

"The proposals so far have involved planting whips (unestablished tree saplings) around the edges of privately owned fields with no public access.

"This is great for the private landowner but does nothing to compensate for the much-loved community space, the valuable wildlife habitats already in existence, and the vital importance of these trees for the quality of our air and averting a climate crisis”.

Green groups will be collecting the public's messages and used plastic bottles on Saturday, December 19 from 10.30am-12.30pm at the Valley Gardens near the play equipment.

James Smith from Harrogate Extinction Rebellion said: "Local residents have welcomed the opportunity to express their frustration with these proposals to take away community woodland and replace it with more plastic waste.

"People understand that our wildlife is declining and that our environment is increasingly polluted - and they want to be part of the change.

"We need the council to get on board with the community".

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