Plans for 2,000-job Harrogate business park submitted

The developers behind a new Harrogate business park that could create up to 2,000 jobs have formally submitted proposals.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:10 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 7:46 pm
The planned business park site at junction 47 of the A1(M).

Opus North and Bridges Fund Management have submitted a planning application to Harrogate Borough Council to transform a 45-acre site into a mixed-use development designed to support offices, logistics operators and tech firms.

The site - to be called Harrogate 47 - is located near junction 47 of the A1(M) and was acquired by the developers in October last year.

It is allocated as the main strategic employment site in the council's Local Plan and already has existing planning permission for more than half a million sq ft of employment space.

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The new plans include up to 130,000 sq ft of office accommodation, about 75,000 sq ft of tech starter units and approximately 430,000 sq ft for logistics and warehouses.

A spokesperson for the developers said the existing planning permission allows for the commencement of the site's enabling works so it can be made "oven ready" for the main construction to start as soon as the new consent is granted.

Guy Bowden, a partner at Bridges Fund Management, added: "As Harrogate 47 is such an important site with immense potential to make a significant economic contribution to the local area, we are keen to maintain momentum and as such are commencing preparatory works.

"The work being undertaken will ensure that the plots are ready for construction to begin, which could be as early as summer 2021, and our appointed agents are already in detailed discussions with potential occupiers who have expressed an interest in the scheme."

The appointed industrial agents for Harrogate 47 are CBRE and Gent Visick, with the office enquiries directed to the office agency teams at CBRE.

Oliver Freer, from CBRE's Northern Planning Team, who prepared the planning application, said: "The new masterplan for Junction 47 responds to the market demand for employment accommodation for office, hi-tech/hybrid and logistics uses in this location, and is in accordance with the land allocation of the site.

"A successful consent would allow much-needed commercial space to be delivered, enabling local companies to stay and attracting new inward investment into the district, whilst unlocking the potential for some 2,000 new local jobs."

Ryan Unsworth, development director of Opus North, added: “We have been working hard with our appointed consultancy team and key stakeholders since we acquired the site to progress a masterplan that would maximise the job-creating potential of the site whilst addressing current and anticipated regional demand for sustainable office and industrial accommodation.

"We are confident that our application captures these aspects and look forward to seeing the initial works start on site to facilitate development.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter