Historic Harrogate pub set for redevelopment by RHS

The historic Harrogate Arms.
The historic Harrogate Arms.

A historic Harrogate site which was once home to the Harrogate Arms pub is set to be utterly transformed.

And the team at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate is inviting local people to give their views on proposals to breathe new life into the former Harrogate Arms public house off Crag Lane.

The former pub – which together with 1.28 acres of surrounding land was bought by the charity back in 2014 – has been vacant pending behind-the-scenes preparations including structural and ecological surveys and the appointment of architectural, conservation and landscape architects who have drawn up detailed proposals to redevelop the building and surrounding area.

Liz Thwaite, Head of RHS Garden Harlow Carr said: “We’d encourage people to pop down to the garden and see the plans which will be on display near to the main entrance. The building is Grade II listed so we’re aiming to keep alterations to the original structure to a minimum in order to preserve its identity and character.

"We’re also hoping to build a new extension which sits comfortably with the old building and complements the surrounding landscape which will be fully integrated into the garden and help to restore the historical connection with the Bath House.”

A two-week consultation period on the plans will begin on Monday, October 22 and run until Monday, November 5.

Interested parties including local residents and businesses can have their say by visiting RHS Garden Harlow Carr or by emailing harlowcarr@rhs.org.uk to request a copy of the plans. It’s hoped that an application for planning and listed building consent will be submitted by the end of the year.

Redevelopment work could begin as early as 2020.

Liz said: “Once we’ve gathered people’s views, we’ll review them and submit a planning application to Harrogate Borough Council. The next step for us as a charity will be to start a fundraising and sponsorship campaign to raise the money needed to breathe new life into this historic building and its surrounding landscape.”

Harlow Carr owes its existence to the mineral springs in and around Harrogate, which were first discovered in 1571 by William Slingsby.

The Harlow Car Hotel and Bath House were built in 1844 by Henry and Richard Wright who sensed a business opportunity following the discovery of an “especially efficacious” sulphur spring in the area.

The hotel was sold to Harrogate Corporation in 1915 and has gone through a number of incarnations since then, as a nightclub, restaurant and latterly a pub.

Proposals for the restoration of the Grade II listed building and surrounding land include:

Integrate the buildings back into the landscape by recreating the historic link between the hotel, Bath House and gardens.

Redevelop the original hotel building into a café and facility for garden visitors including information on the area’s spa history.

Demolish the later, poor quality additions to the original structure and replace with a new extension to house the kitchen facilities to serve the café as well as an accessible WC and Changing Places facility.

Build a contemporary single-storey extension with glass roof to the north (right) side of the original structure as a new all-weather base for the garden’s horticultural activities programme.

To have your say on the redevelopment, visit RHS Garden Harlow Carr from 9.30am - 4pm from Monday, October 22 to Monday, November 5 or email harlowcarr@rhs.org.uk to request a copy of the plans.

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