Frustration remains as Starbeck footpath continues to be blocked after fire

Harrogate Borough Councillor Coun Philip Broadbank.
Harrogate Borough Councillor Coun Philip Broadbank.

A Harrogate Borough Councillor has expressed his frustration over the long-term closure of a busy footpath forcing pedestrians to contend with the heavy traffic on Starbeck High Street.

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The section of High Street footpath and the nearby pelican crossing were first closed off in July after a fire partially destroyed a building at the site, next to a former McColl’s.

The site was secured and briefly reopened before closing again in late September due to safety concerns from falling debris off the roof of the building. The path and crossing remain closed.

Ward Councillor Philip Broadbank said he’d lobbied both the Borough and County council over his concerns that pedestrians were being forced onto the busy High Street road around the closure.

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He added that the closure also impacted the main entrance of St Andrews Church, which was particularly concerning come up to the busy Christmas season.

“There’s seems to have not been any progress at all and that’s the frustration,” Coun Broadbank said.

“There’s a real lack of progress…very little is happening so that people can cross safely.”

He urged both councils to hasten the process and make the site safe and secure.

“This needs to be resolved urgently and I will continue to put pressure on the two councils to get this done.”

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North Yorkshire County highways area manager Melisa Burnham said the local highways authority are working with the owner and the Borough council to have it reopened as soon as possible.

“We are working with Harrogate Borough Council and the property owner to have the roof made safe,” Ms Burnham said.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused but the closure will need to remain in place until we are notified that the building is no longer a concern.’’

Lachlan Leeming , Local Democracy Reporting Service