Business expansion and Harrogate's Local Plan

Cabinet Members were speaking at a briefing on the Local Plan
Cabinet Members were speaking at a briefing on the Local Plan

The district could lose expanding businesses if the long-term vision for housing and employment is delayed, it has been claimed.

Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet members spoke at a briefing on Tuesday (December 5) as the district’s draft Local Plan prepares to before a session of full council for approval.

While close to two per cent of annual growth is anticipated for the area’s economy it said developing businesses could be encouraged to not re-locate outside the district. Online beer distributor, Beer Hawk and research company Covance, were both flagged as examples of expansion outside of Harrogate that could be prevented in the future.

Coun Rebecca Burnett said: “Both housing and employment have been looked at together in establishing this plan.
“We have made sure in doing that across the planning period we ensure that we are giving businesses the space needed to expand.”

She added: “The Local Plan is in this way a two-pronged attack in addressing this kind of issue, by providing space that is needed for both housing and employment.”

Currently 95,800 people are employed in Harrogate across 9,000 businesses. This is expected to increase by 12,200 new jobs over 18 years.
Overall 669 homes are said to be needed per year, a total of 16,077 being built through to 2035.

While growth is anticipated in sectors including science and business support the council believe site allocations and more housing will help this.
By doing so they also suggest it could address congestion across the district, developing employment for people who can already afford to live in Harrogate while generating homes for workers who travel from outside.

Leader of the Council, Richard Cooper said: “Every morning 11,500 people are making journeys, by vehicle, out of the district. At the same time 10,000 people are making their way in to the district.
“These are people who work in low paid jobs and cannot afford to live here, it is 13 times the average salary to do so.”