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Developer confirms public to lose access in Crescent Gardens road closure

Wednesday, 19 June 2024 07:12

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

The company hoping to close a road to vehicles outside Harrogate’s former council offices has confirmed that the general public would lose access to it.

But Impala Estates said in a statement that cyclists and pedestrians visiting new businesses at the future redeveloped space would be allowed to enter via the road.

Impala Estates bought the historic Crescent Gardens building from Harrogate Borough Council for £4m in 2020.

The developer already has planning permission to convert it into office and restaurant space.

It wants to block traffic from entering the front of the building, on a small public road that runs between Swan Road to the west and Montpellier Road to the east.

However, to close the road it first needs planning permission to erect planters and bollards at both ends.

It then will require a separate ‘stopping up order’ from the Department for Transport.

Harrogate and Knaresborough councillors will meet next Tuesday to consider planning permission for the bollards for a second time after deferring a decision last month.

They asked for more information about the closure and how it will affect residents in Harrogate.

At the previous meeting, Cllr Robert Windass (Conservative, Boroughbridge & Claro) called the move “anti-car” and Cllr Philip Broadbank (Liberal Democrat, Fairfax & Starbeck) raised concerns that a public right of way that has existed for almost a century could be lost.

Since then, Impala has published a written statement that includes more details about its plans.

The firm confirmed it does not yet own the road and a deal to purchase it from North Yorkshire Council is dependent on the stopping-up order being granted.

This means if councillors decided to refuse the plans, it could scupper the deal.

The plans have been recommended for approval by a council officer.

Impala said in its statement:

“Should a stopping up order be made, all public access rights over the existing highway would be extinguished. However, the Crescent Gardens building is expected to accommodate various uses that will require entrance/egress by the general public, including restaurant and bar uses.

“The proposed development does not install any physical restriction to access on foot or by cycle and the site will operate as a private landscaped/parking area through which visitors to the Crescent Gardens building can pass.”

The planning committee will meet on June 25 at 2pm at the Civic Centre. The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube.

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