Pinewoods campaigners hit £5,000 target to 'save trees' in Harrogate

A Harrogate residents group has hit its fundraising target to campaign to save trees in Pinewoods in the same week as a national figure said he supported preserving Rotary Wood.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 12:24 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 3:07 pm
Some of the trees at Rotary Wood in the Pinewoods in Harrogate.

Pinewoods Conservation Group said that, with a week still to go on Crowd Justice, its £5,000 target for legal advice to challenge Harrogate Spring Water's expansion plans in the area had now been reached.

The online fundraising site will remain live for the next seven days to allow for any further donations to be made.

The campaign group said it was delighted to hear that Matthew Wilson, who is a regular panelist on Radio 4 Gardeners Question Time, had voiced his concerns about the much-loved wooded area of Harrogate.

Mr Wilson, has fronted his own Channel 4 show Landscape Man, said: “UK woodlands are under increasing pressure, as is biodiversity in general. Rotary Wood is an important home to a range of species of plants and animals, but is equally important as an amenity to the people of Harrogate, in an area where development is taking place at a significant rate.

"I hope that everything can be done to ensure that Rotary Wood is preserved as an important feature for Harrogate and a suitable compromise reached that enables a respected local business to continue to grow.”

Representatives of Pinewods Conservation Group, including its chair Neil Hind, are scheduled to sit down with managing director James Cain OBE and marketing manager Nicky Cain this Wednesday at the bottling plant on Harlow Moor Road.

The PCG says Harrogate Spring Water’s expansion plans would increase the size of the plant by more than 40%

But Harrogate Spring Water, the UK’s leading water brand and champion of environmental standards, says its global success and the competitive nature of the market for bottled water make expansion absolutely essential.

Managing director James Cain OBE told the Harrogate Advertiser: “Whatever we take out will be put back and the end result for the Pinewoods area will be better than at the moment. We’re local people and give back to the local community.

“Mr Cain said: “We pride ourselves on being good neighbours and we support the Pinewoods. But we are operating in a competitive era.”

Harrogate Council's planning department have confirmed they see the proposal to increase the development by a further 42% as a material change so Harrogate Spring Water's plans will be referred to the full planning committee.

PCG says the date has been confirmed for March 31.

It also says a report has also been published from the council's principal Eeologist who, it says, doesn't support the plans.

PCG confirmed it has been granted an extension by the council to February 2 to give comments on an updated ecological study on the plans.