North Yorkshire Council spends another £300,000 on Harrogate Station Gateway consultants

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
North Yorkshire Council has revealed it is being forced to spend a further £300,000 on consultants designing the Harrogate Station Gateway — taking the total consultants’ bill to £2.3m.

Last year, the scheme had to be drastically altered following a legal challenge from Hornbeam Park Developments, a property company owned by businessman Chris Bentley.

The council admitted it had made a technical error during the consultation stages.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This meant it had to go back to the drawing board to ensure the legal threat subsided and the project could move forward, albeit on a much smaller scale.

The Civic Centre in HarrogateThe Civic Centre in Harrogate
The Civic Centre in Harrogate

The proposals now only include a redeveloped One Arch and Station Square, better traffic signals, a bus lane, a southbound cycle lane on Station Parade, new paving for pedestrians and cycling parking at Harrogate Station.

But those hoping to see a more ambitious scheme for pedestrians and cyclists have been disappointed after plans to part-pedestrianise James Street and reduce Station Parade to one lane were abandoned.

The project’s overall cost has spiralled since it was first announced in 2021 for £7.9m.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Even after several of its key elements have been removed, it will cost £12.1m with the bulk of the money coming from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

This week, the Conservative-run executive in Northallerton agreed to allocate £10m from its reserves that could be spent on potential overruns in “high-risk” schemes, which includes the Harrogate Station Gateway.

The project was discussed again this morning (Thursday) during a meeting of local councillors.

Coun Matt Walker (Liberal Democrat, Knaresborough West) asked council officer Matt Roberts if the authority anticipates any more money being spent on consultants.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported last year it had already handed £2m to consultancy firm WSP for design work.

Mr Roberts said an additional £300,000 would be spent on consultants which will take the project through to its construction stage.

He added: “We don’t anticipate any further bills on consultants.”

He also gave timescales on when the project could finally see the light of day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Roberts said proposals to refurbish One Arch near Harrogate Bus Station will move forward before the rest of the scheme.

Traffic regulation orders for Station Parade that will see three disabled parking bays relocated are expected to go out for consultation next month.

Mr Roberts said “all being well” builders could start work in early 2025.

Following his presentation, Coun Chris Aldred (Liberal Democrat, High Harrogate and Kingsley) called on the council to publish its new designs for the scheme, which have not yet been released to the public.

He said this has created “a lot of murmuring and people not knowing what’s happening”.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.