Harrogate strategy plan sparks debate


A radical masterplan to transform Harrogate town centre has been the subject of fierce debate.

The first draft of the strategy plan, commissioned by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) and published in the Advertiser series last week, set out a series of ideas for change.

These included pedestrianisation of parts of Harrogate town centre, new piazzas, spa hotels and a family attraction to rival York and Leeds.

The plans have been open to the public to view this past week, with residents attending an exhibition in St Peter’s Church in the town centre before a formal consultation is launched later in the year. In the days since, several readers have been in touch to add their comments.

Richard Hughes, of Stray Walk, said the plans were not imaginative enough. He would like to see a blanket speed limit of up to 20mph imposed in the town centre, more water features to accentuate the town’s spa history, the integration of town centre spaces like Princes Square, and diversions for traffic in the town.

“The intention is laudable but the endeavour unfortunately, however well-intentioned, only offers the potential to waste a considerable amount of money on piecemeal developments that lack ambition, overall inspiration or public involvement,” he said, adding that it was pitiful that only 400 people had been surveyed in a town with a population of 73,000.

“As the strategy suggests Harrogate has considerable potential and this potential will not be realised by tinkering around the edges.”

l Turn to Letters, Pages 28 and 29, for more reader comments as well as views from businesses and attractions in the town centre.

l Visit www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk to see last week’s Advertiser series report in full.