Harrogate – Harlow Councillor Jim Clark and local campaigner Rebecca Burnett have welcomed news that there is to be a consultation on Harrogate Borough Council’s proposal to dispose of part of the Pinewoods by way of lease to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The proposals were first put forward in 2011 when the RHS was given planning permission to build a controversial car park immediately to the north of the Pinewoods.
The planning application was opposed by a number of local groups and residents and approval was only given on the casting vote of the chairman. Following planning approval the RHS put forward plans to lease part of the woods that would contain a footpath from the new car park to the entrance of Harlow Carr Gardens.
At the time Jim Clark voiced residents’ concerns about the necessity of the lease and that there had been no open discussions on the proposal. Many residents were concerned that this could be the beginning of the end of the Pinewoods.
Rebecca Burnett said:
I hope all interested parties will take the opportunity to make their views known during the consultation period which runs until 8th February. The Pinewoods are such an important part of Harrogate’s natural environment.
The proposals will be posted on the Council’s website from Thursday 10th January.
Head of Parks and Open Spaces at Harrogate Borough Council, Patrick Kilburn has directly contacted the following organisations/ individuals as part of the initial consultation.
- Michelle Speed from the Pinewoods Conservation Group;
- Terry Knowles from the Harrogate Rotary Club;
- Henry Pankhurst from the Civic Society;
- Jane Blayney from the Friends of Valley Gardens;
- Robert Trantor from the Harlow & Pannal Ash Residents Association;
- The Ward Councillors – Cllrs Don Mackenzie and Simon Theakston;
- The County Councillor – Cllr Jim Clarke
The comments made during the consultation will be reported to the Cabinet Member for Cultural Services who will make the final decision by end of March.