Harrogate Spring Water row: New update on talks by Pinewoods Conservation Group

Pinewoods Conservation Group has posted a new update on progress in the long-running saga of Harrogate Spring Water's expansion plans at Rotary Wood.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 4:50 pm

After an initial meeting in the autumn on the ecological mitigation plans with planning consultants from Danone, who bought a majority stake in the UK's oldest bottled water company in February, it was agreed to delay the planning application meeting at Harrogate Borough Council on the expansion plans until early next year.

But the story actually began in 2017 when Harrogate Spring Water first obtained outline planning permission for the expansion of its bottling facility on Harlow Moor Road near Rotary Wood.

Harrogate Spring Water first obtained outline planning permission for the expansion of its bottling facility on Harlow Moor Road near Rotary Wood in 2017.

Then, last year, HSW announced it would be submitting revised plans to increase the size of the developable area near the Pinewoods by 42% in principle, while, it says, maintaining nearly half the total space for public access with what it says would be respectful landscaping.

It also said at the time it would replace any trees removed in the expansion.

But, so far, this has not had the effect of reassuring completely a range of local groups who have taken an interest in the environmental impact of HSW's plans, including Duchy Residents Society, Harrogate Civic Society, Harrogate Green Party, Harrogate Rotary Club, Zero Carbon Harrogate and Pinewoods Conservation Group.

This week PCG posted that further meetings have now taken place with Danone representatives and various Harrogate interest groups and stakeholders.

A spokesperson for Pinewoods Conservation Group said: "There is a current proposal to re-plant nearby that has been put forward.

"However, it is felt the current plan does not take account for the full ecological loss and this area would not be open to the public.

"As such does not account for the loss of public space and amenity either.

"The working group has, therefore, suggested a few alterative suggestions that the consultants have agreed to investigate further.

"With the planning meeting still scheduled seven weeks from now for January 26 there is still time for a proposal acceptable to all parties to be found.

"Should planning be agreed there will still be a need for public consultation on the loss of public land and the disposal of an 'asset of community' value."

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