Letters: Council refuses planning permission for Carluccio’s

Carluccio's restaurant
Carluccio's restaurant

I am amazed at the short sightedness of Harrogate Borough Council in refusing planning for this high profile restaurant. At a time when people are complaining of Harrogate ‘leaking’ shoppers to Leeds and York, the addition of a high profile eatery in the town centre can only encourage shoppers and visitors to come to Harrogate. To bat away Carluccio’s is sheer madness when retail sites are being abandoned left right and centre as the economy struggles to recover; are HBC unaware of the rise internet shopping? The one thing we can’t do on the internet is sit in a restaurant and surely far sighted planners would see attracting high profile celebrity restauranteers to Harrogate as an excellent form of economic diversification. I wish Carlussio’s every success in their appeal as their presence on that corner of James Street will only serve to up Harrogate’s profile.

Andrew Bradwell

Swan Road, Harrogate

If Harrogate were over-run with retailers clamouring to be in the town centre, I could understand the council’s argument about retail space being diminished and the march of the restaurant. But it is not. A quick walk around will soon identify the many empty shops. I didn’t see an objection when the old Bon Marche shop on Oxford Street was to be turned into a building society! One of the reasons for approval of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant was that it would attract customers to the town. Does the same argument not apply to a restaurant with the reputation of Carluccios? Does the council not want to benefit from the Business Rates generated by occupied shops? We are a conference town and delegates expect a choice of places to eat. How many premises need to become empty before this short-sighted policy is dropped?

Keith Wyatt

Malthouse Lane, Harrogate

I think Harrogate planners are making a big mistake. Even if there weren’t as many as 35 jobs created it would be more jobs than the closed Optical Express Shop. Also Carluccio’s is a retailer as well as a restaurant. It is very popular, evidenced by the recent opening of a second outlet in Leeds. Would Harrogate Council like to attract more visitors to Harrogate or not. They are missing an opportunity. Hopefully Carluccio’s will win their appeal but Harrogate Council will be wasting the taxpayers’ money in fighting it.

Barbara Penny

Valley Drive, Harrogate

Carry on council or A funny thing happened on the way to the planning department.

With bewildering ineptness the Harrogate Borough Council has rejected the proposed Carluccio’s on Station Parade for plainly spurious reasons. Moreover, with breath taking arrogance they question the validity of the number of jobs which would be created. They have denied us of a well respected, inclusive, vibrant, authentic and affordable Italian restaurant presence in our town. Interestingly Jamie Oliver’s Italian faced no supposed concerns over protecting the towns retail trade, or its proposed employment numbers. Do I detect a hidden agenda here, me thinks I do.

Anthony Walker

Roseville Drive, Harrogate

I hope Carluccios succeed in overturning the planning officer’s short-sighted refusal to allow them to open in Station Square. His ‘loss of retail space’ argument is a poor one when there are already empty shops elsewhere in the town. A good restaurant where they propose will add vibrancy to an area that at times has looked tired. My Leeds office is adjacent to a Carluccios branch and I and my colleagues probably spend as much buying pasta, oils, wine etc from the shop section for use at home as we do eating in the restaurant area.

Russell Davidson

Leadhall Lane, Harrogate

It was disappointing to see that their planning application had been turned down. I can only assume that the planning team had not heard of them otherwise they would have been inviting them to come to Harrogate. As a famous name in the food world their presence would bring people into to Harrogate and add prestige to the town

Virginia Kennedy

Stumps Lane, Darley

Harrogate Borough Council have unfortunately made a significant mistake in refusing planning permission. My wife and I are residents of Harrogate and very recently visited Carluccios in the new Trinity Centre in Leeds and were most impressed with this high quality company, and then latterly found out that Carluccios are hoping to open here in Harrogate, which in our opinion is a huge boost to Harrogate and brings style, quality and a touch of class to our lovely town. We hope HBC review their decision and make the appropriate ‘Yes’ vote

David & Tina Flannigan

Park Parade, Harrogate

A walk around the shops of Harrogate today shows that several are closing down. Empty shops pay no council tax and look depressing. The impact of the internet will accelerate this trend. Visiting a town is a leisure pursuit and eating is part of this. To deny a high quality brand like Carluccios is to be in denial regarding commercial reality. How many visitors to Harrogate are attracted by the likes of Bettys? Many, I suggest. The shops around a Carluccios would benefit greatly and prosper for longer. Planners need to smell the coffee. Italian coffee!!

Alec Newsham

Montpellier Road, Harrogate

I was delighted to hear that Carluccio’s are proposing to open in Harrogate. It’s a restaurant with great standards of food, wine and customer service. I was also looking forward to having access to the excellent range of Italian food items in the shop. I was astonished to read about the decision by Harrogate planners – they must reconsider such a blinkered decision. The proposed store is literally a stone’s throw from tea shops and other restaurants along the street and round the corner, but Carluccio’s reputation is such that it would be a great asset in that position, drawing more visitors into Station Square, thus benefitting nearby shops and restaurants alike. In my experience, the retail section is always placed at the front of the restaurant and will look far more inviting that a bland opticians.

Christine Murphy

Burn Bridge Road, Harrogate