Harrogate Spring Water plant expansion into woodland rejected!!

4th February 2021

Harrogate Spring Water plant expansion into Woodland rejected!

Harrogate Spring Water was granted outline permission to expand its bottling site in 2016 – a decision that was opposed by the town’s green groups. However, in 2019, the company submitted a revised application for a site that is 22 per cent larger than the one originally proposed.  The public forest, known as Rotary Wood, was planted by local children between 2005 and 2011 and hosts a variety of wildlife including wild orchids.

CPRE North Yorkshire strongly objected along with more than 400 other objections, including TV presenter Julia Bradbury who said “We are nature-deficient in this country. We need more wild spaces and green spaces. And this goes to show that, sometimes, it’s not all about monetary value. There is real value in these places in terms of human value.”

During the meeting, committee members raised concerns about how further expansion of the bottling facility could harm local biodiversity, efforts to boost carbon storage and Harrogate’s international reputation.  Under the plans, more than half of the woodland would have been cut down to make way for the expanded bottling facility owned by Danone.

The site is a recognised area of natural greenspace being of local importance accessed by many different groups including local scout groups and school groups. It is regularly used by the general public to access connected areas of woodland, between Harlow Carr and Valley Gardens. A number of connecting footpaths are used by residents and visitors to the area, including those taking daily exercise and walking dogs. Further a bridleway through the site is used frequently by horse-riders. The site is a well-established amenity space and has been especially appreciated during the ongoing pandemic which has emphasised the need for easily accessibly countryside for benefits to both physical and mental health by residents of the town and local area.

The plans were rejected with eight councillors voting for rejection and four abstentions. CPRENY were delighted with the result.

Ex-Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury congratulated campaigners, saying “the trees won” after councillors voted to reject the proposal.

 

Other related articles:

Yorkshire Post – Harrogate Spring Water expansion plans rejected as woodland campaigners celebrate victory

Independent –Council rejects bottled water plant expansion plans in major victory for environmentalists

BVC News – Harrogate Spring Water plant expansion into wood rejected

The proposed development area at the Harrogate Spring Water facility. Pinewoods Conservation Group