Harrogate council says its Masterplan for town centre will not change its priorities

Calls to update Harrogate’s Masterplan for the town centre in relation to sustainable transport to reflect the tougher world for businesses have been rejected by Harrogate Borough Council.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 6:14 pm
Future of Harrogate town centre - Although Harrogate Borough Council will be reviewing its Masterplan, its core objectives are unlikely to change.

Pressure groups such as Independent Harrogate say the worsening situation for the high street since the Masterplan was first adopted by the council in May 2016 means it risks being out of date.

Robert Ogden, co-founder of Independent Harrogate said, though he supported the Gateway plans for the Station Parade area in general, ideas such as reducing traffic to one lane to make way for bicycles were no longer relevant when retail and hospitality was in such a fragile state.

Mr Ogden said: “Things are very different now. The Masterplan urgently needs to be revised in a way that does not further damage the very fragile state of the local economy.”

But Coun Tim Myatt, the council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said, although it would be reviewing its Masterplan as it prepares to support town centres across the district out of lockdown, its core objectives, including sustainable transport, were unlikely to change.

Coun Myatt said: “When the Masterplan was published in 2016 to protect and improve the town centre it was recognised that the high street was facing significant challenges. Those challenges remain.

“The council is looking at how we can support town centres across the district, and as part of that we will also review the Harrogate town centre strategy and masterplan.

“But the key areas of focus are unlikely to change, and public realm improvements, events and leisure space, and integrated and sustainable transport infrastructure, will remain important.”

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