Government rejects Harrogate working men’s club flats plan
Sep 14, 2022
The Harrogate National Reserve Club, East Parade, which has formally dissolved.
The Harrogate National Reserve Club, East Parade, which has formally dissolved.

The government has rejected plans to convert a former Harrogate working men’s club into flats.

The National Reserve Club, on East Parade, formally closed in July 2021 following a unanimous resolution by members. It was also known as ‘The Nash’.

The organisation had been registered as a working men’s club since July 11, 1913, when it was known as the Harrogate Battalion National Reserve of the West Riding of York Club.

ID Planning, which submitted a plan to convert the club into flats on behalf of Ashleigh and Caroline Wells, took Harrogate Borough Council to appeal after it refused its conversion plan in May this year.

The council said there was insufficient evidence that the building could no longer be used as a community facility.

But the developer said in a statement to the government that the reasons for rejection were “unfounded”.

It said:

“Based on the assessment provided, it is considered that the reasons for refusal of the planning application given by Harrogate Borough Council are unfounded and the proposed development accords with all relevant local and national planning policy.”

Read more:

Robert Walker, a government planning inspector, said in a decision notice that he could not conclude that continued use of the site as a community facility would cause “planning problems”.

He said:

“I recognise that there are residential properties nearby, including flats in the appeal building.

“However, the appeal site is located close to the town centre in a mixed area on a busy street. It is not in a quiet residential area. 

“Such a location and relationship to upper floor flats or other nearby residential properties is not unusual. 

“Moreover, the former working men’s club operated on the site for a considerable number of years and no substantive evidence has been provided of problems from its past use.”

Mr Walker added that there had not been “sufficient evidence provided to justify the permanent loss of the existing community facility”.