Plans for new plant nursery progress but Harrogate council refuses to reveal location

Harrogate Borough Council is pushing ahead with proposals to build a new plant nursery as a replacement for its Harlow Hill site which will become new housing.

Inside the Harlow Hill nursery site which is set to become housing. Photo: Harrogate Borough Council.
Inside the Harlow Hill nursery site which is set to become housing. Photo: Harrogate Borough Council.

However, the council has refused to reveal its preferred location for the new nursery.

Around 40 homes are set to be built at the existing site which was allocated for development in Harrogate's Local Plan two years ago, although a planning application has yet to be submitted.

The plans have previously been met with anger from residents who objected to the closure of the Harlow Hill nursery where thousands of plants are grown each year for the district's award-winning gardens.

The entrance of Harlow Hill nursery. Photo: Google.

Councillor Sam Gibbs, the council's new cabinet member for environment, waste reduction and recycling, has this week signed off £50,000 for "in-depth professional advice," site surveys and other works to progress the replacement nursery plans.

A council spokesperson said these proposals are in the early stages and that it wanted to see whether the unnamed preferred site is "viable".

The spokesperson said: “To ensure we can continue to deliver and develop the award winning floral displays for which the Harrogate district is well known for and attracts thousands of visitors every year, alternative locations are now being explored.

“Following a successful bid for funding, the council has commissioned consultants to look at master planning and delivery options for the site with a focus on achieving innovative, quality design.

"The development will not be progressed in advance of certainty regarding the relocation of the nursery."

The spokesperson also said the housing plans will include "a range of private and affordable homes".

The council previously spent another £50,000 on a "professional site appraisal" for the new nursery plans after holding a consultation on the future of the Harlow Hill site

One resident responded to the survey to say: “I hope this nursery is not going to close. Don’t ruin anything with more houses please.”

Another said: “It would be a very, very sad day if the site was sold off for housing.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter