Pinewood Conservation Group is celebrating progress in its battle to make the beauty spot at the top of Valley Gardens more easily accessible to the whole community.
Chair of the PCG Neil Hind said he was delighted Harrogate Borough Council had agreed to reconsider shared usage signage within the Pinewoods following a meeting with Pinewood Conservation Group members and the counci’s legal team.
The breakthrough comes after a dispute over signs erected by volunteers offering advice on conduct for walkers, cyclists, dogs and horses on the tarmac footpath which runs from the woods at the top of Valley Gardens to RHS Harlow Carr.
Chair of the PCG Neil Hind said: “We feel that the council acted prematurely in removing the signs that had resulted in improvement behaviours on the path. A number of points raised by Harrogate Council have now been withdrawn and it has been confirmed no byelaws cover the Pinewoods and that no objections had been raised by North Yorkshire County Council. As such we feel it would be a relatively simple matter to allow the signs to be reinstalled.”
The PCG have also formally proposed a new path suitable for all Pinewoods users is created from the proposed Harlow Grange housing development on Crag Lane to Nursery Lane East through the woods.
This proposal would build on plans from developers Taylor Wimpey to create a number of new rights of way within their development and form a much-needed sustainable transport link in the area.
Neil Hind said: “This proposal would be the shortest route for a new path and would easily integrate with other existing and proposed cycle routes. It could also remove cyclists from the main Pinewoods footpath and from the difficult to navigate Otley Road.
"We understand that a number of sources of funding that could be used are held by North Yorkshire County Council and there will also be S106 funds from Taylor Wimpey that could be utilised. As such this should be an affordable and sensible solution.”