A controversial plan to expand Harrogate Spring Water Limited’s bottling facility in Harrogate has secured approval at planning committee.
Outline approval for the 5,500 sqm facility was given by Councillors who faced balancing the continued growth of the iconic brand and the effect this could have on the surrounding landscape.
Managing Director of Harrogate Spring Water Limited, James Cain, addressed planners at the committee over concerns of the facility on Harlow Moor Road, stating the company prided itself on being a considerate and good neighbor with 'respect for the environment in it's DNA.'
Speaking outside the council chamber doors at Crescent Gardens moments after the decision was made he offered his hand to those who had opposed the plans.
Mr Cain said: "I am just delighted that now we can continue to prosper, create jobs and plan for the future. We intend to continue the good work of promoting the brand of Harrogate.
"Now it is about partnering with the Pinewood group and getting something that we can be proud of.
"Whilst there are some people in the room who will be upset by the decision I want them to know that I am here."
Speakers from the Pinewoods Conservation Group, Harrogate Rotary Club and Zero Carbon Harrogate group all presented cases against the plans for the new facility. Each raised concerns over the potential effect the facility could have on the environment and landscape of the area.
After the decision was made Neil Hind, Chair of the Pinewoods Conservation Group, explained he was however pleased to see conditions being attached to the outline approval.
Mr Hind said: “Although we are obviously disappointed with the decision of the planning committee to approve the development, we were pleased that our additional legal pressure resulted in the correct emphasis being placed on the lands with “Asset of Community Value” status.
"It was also very encouraging to see the number of conditions being placed on the approval, including the promise of a net gain in trees for the area as confirmed in the meeting.
"We will look forward to working with both Harrogate Council and Harrogate Spring Water on the next steps of the project. Our continued involvement will help ensure that the various conditions are met in full and that any further environmental impact will be minimised.”