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Council adopts vision for future of Harrogate town centre

A vision of how the centre of Harrogate could develop over the next ten years has been agreed by councillors, with the adoption of Harrogate Town Centre Strategy and Masterplan.

At a meeting on Wednesday (25 May 2016) the council’s Cabinet agreed to adopt the strategy and masterplan, with recommended changes, as a Supplementary Planning Document.

This means it will now be used to bring forward improvements to the town, attract inward investment and inform decisions on future planning applications in the town centre.

The strategy and masterplan document does not contain planning policies, or allocate land for development, but it does include policy recommendations and identifies potential development opportunities within the town centre that will be taken forward in the Council’s emerging Local plan where appropriate.  These are all designed to improve the economic prospects of the town, and secure its vitality and viability in the long term.

Now that the draft strategy has been adopted, including amendments following last autumn’s public consultation, the council is now in a position to decide how and when individual projects can be brought forward, with partners.

The Council will seek to work with all relevant stakeholders in developing and delivering the strategy and masterplan projects. This will include engagement with the public, businesses and other stakeholders on the design of the proposed public realm improvements as and when they are brought forward.

Councillor Rebecca Burnett is Harrogate Borough Council’ Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport.  She said:

Harrogate town centre plays a pivotal role in driving the local economy. It is the district’s largest retail, leisure, business and tourist destination, a major conference and exhibition venue.

The vision for 2025 is for Harrogate to be a leading UK destination and an important source of local employment.

To this end, in developing a town centre strategy and masterplan for Harrogate we have focused on creating something distinctive, something that will differentiate Harrogate from its regional and national competitors, that incorporates outstanding public areas, unique conference facilities, a special blend of retail and leisure, and with integrated and sustainable transport systems.

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