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Harrogate BID backs reduced Station Gateway

Harrogate BID (Business Improvement District) says it is backing North Yorkshire Council’s plans for a vastly reduced Harrogate Station Gateway scheme.

Harrogate BID backs reduced Station Gateway Harrogate BID (Business Improvement District) says it is backing North Yorkshire Council’s plans for a vastly reduced Harrogate Station Gateway scheme. The original plans included a single-lane Station Parade to build cycle lanes, part-pedestrianising James Street and overhauling Station Square. However, Cllr Keane Duncan, Conservative executive member for transport at North Yorkshire Council, issued a press statement last week that said the scheme’s most controversial aspects, such as the proposals for Station Parade and James Street, would need to be dropped for it to move forward. The controversial £11.2m plans were thrown into doubt over the summer when Harrogate-based property firm Hornbeam Park Developments, which owns several commercial properties on James Street, issued a legal challenge. [caption id="attachment_7818" align="aligncenter" width="739"] An artist impression of Harrogate's Station Gateway.[/caption] The council is yet to present its new vision for the Station Gateway but it previously said this would be unveiled before the end of November. A report in September about how the council might proceed made no mention of cycling or active travel. The government says that funding for the scheme must be spent before March 2025 at the latest. Local businesses in Harrogate town centre pay a levy to the BID which pays for improvements. BID chair Dan Siddle and BID manager Matthew Chapman said in a joint statement:

“Whilst we accept the Station Gateway Project has been a divided subject we believe, after consulting with sector representatives within the BID membership, that the project should now proceed. “The local authority has listened to the concerns raised, adapted the project to a plan that works for the majority and given assurances that the finished product will further enhance the Harrogate welcome and experience. We have further welcomed direct contact from Cllr Keane Duncan, executive councillor for highways at North Yorkshire Council, who has provided a key line of communication throughout this round of consultation. “Cllr Duncan has also worked with businesses and property owners direct to implement the changes requested such as Station Parade remaining as two lanes, plans for James Street removed and the aspirations for spaces such as One Arch and Station Square championed. “This level of investment to town and city centres is a once in a generation opportunity that Harrogate BID feels would be amiss to reject. Looking at the data that demonstrates how and where town centres are heading the Station Gateway Project will be the foundation of many more centrally funded projects that keeps Harrogate as a key destination for residents and tourists alike. “As an organisation we must stress we do not see this project as anti-car or pro-cycling, purely one which will give people more choice on how they wish to travel to and move around our town. Furthermore, this funding, which has to be used towards this gateway scheme has earmarked some fundamental and positive improvements to public realm that we fully support if, as promised, is finished to a first-class standard. “We look forward to continuing to be involved in this and other developments where we can represent the business community in a collaborative but factual manner.”
By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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