Hundreds object to Harrogate Spring Water’s expansion plans
Last updated Feb 28, 2024
Harrogate Spring Water's proposed extension.

Harrogate Spring Water’s planning application to expand its bottling plant has received more than 200 objections since it went live on the council’s planning portal two weeks ago.

The Danone-owned firm submitted its much-anticipated reserved matters application to North Yorkshire Council this month to expand its headquarters on Harlow Moor Road.

The company secured outline planning permission for the scheme in 2017, which remains valid, but the reserved matters stage deals with its appearance, size and landscaping.

A previous reserved matters application was rejected in 2021 amid bad feeling over proposals to cut down trees in Rotary Wood, an area of the Pinewoods, that would make way for the larger premises.

This time, the company hopes to win over critics by planting an additional 1,200 trees on two acres of land next to the existing Harrogate Spring Water headquarters.

Richard Hall, managing director at Harrogate Spring Water, said he wants the new woodland that would replace trees felled in Rotary Wood to become a valued resource for the local community for years to come.

But despite this new attempt to win over the public and the consultation events that have been organised, the application appears to be just as controversial as when it last came around four years ago.

At the time of publication it had received 314 objections and three letters of support.

One person criticised the company’s environmental credentials and said:

“Yes, we want thriving Harrogate businesses, and I own one, but not the production of more plastic bottles.”

Another objector who lives nearby said the expansion would lead to more large vehicles transporting the product from the factory. They added:

“The lorries shake my house as they pass and can wake me up at night.”

Many comments refer to what has been at the heart of the application all along — trees. One person said:

“It would be devastating to lose any trees in Harrogate. We need the trees and so do the local wildlife. I object to any healthy tree being felled in the name of further development in this area.”

Richard Hall, managing director at Harrogate Spring Water, said:

“As a business whose success is rooted in the town of Harrogate and its people, it is really important for us to work in partnership with the local community.

“The local community has been very clear in expressing their concern about the potential loss of trees from part of Rotary Wood which an expanded production facility could bring.

“This is why at the heart of our reserved matters application is a new community woodland which will be fully accessible to the public and we hope will become a valued resource for the local community for many years to come.”

Councillors will meet to make a decision on the application at some point this year.

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