Harrogate businessmen give council notice of Station Gateway legal action
Last updated Jun 30, 2023
Latest Station Gateway visuals which show Harrogate's James Street pedestrianised.
Station Gateway proposals show Harrogate's James Street pedestrianised.

Two Harrogate businessmen have given North Yorkshire Council notice that they intend to press ahead with a judicial review of the Harrogate Station Gateway scheme.

Chris Bentley, of Hornbeam Park Developments, and Dr Terry Bramall CBE have lodged the claim against the scheme.

The pair have concerns over the legality of the council’s consultation process over the gateway.

In a letter from solicitors Walton&Co sent to North Yorkshire Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which are overseeing the project, they argue that the procedure for the gateway scheme was unlawful on six grounds.

It includes claims that the council failed to hold an inquiry on planned traffic regulation orders, that it carried out unlawful publicity of the orders, and that it acted “irrationally” when approving them before receiving funds for the project.

The letter also claims the council’s consultation was “unlawful” and that it failed to “take into account material considerations”, such as access to premises, when deciding to proceed with the gateway scheme.

Mr Bentley told the Stray Ferret previously that he felt the council had come up with “utopian ideas” and that the plan should be shelved.

He said:

“They just keep throwing the dice until they get the right answer. I think it should be shelved.

“There is so much other stuff that the town needs.”

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Mr Bentley and Mr Bramall declined to comment further on the matter.

The Stray Ferret asked North Yorkshire Council whether it would be defending its position against the claims made.

In response, Karl Battersby, corporate director of environment at the council, said:

“We will be responding to the pre-action protocol letter, and we will look to defend our position should legal action be taken.”

The gateway project includes proposals such as the pedestrianisation of part of James Street and the reduction of a section of Station Parade to single lane traffic to encourage walking and cycling.

The scheme is still to receive final approval but won the backing of senior councillors in Northallerton at a meeting last month.

The predicted cost of the scheme is now £11.2m — a sum that has risen considerably from the £7.9m initially suggested by council.