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Station Gateway: Council won't have to repay government if troubled project is scrapped

If the Station Gateway is scrapped North Yorkshire Council won’t have to repay government money it spent on consultants to develop the project.

Station Gateway: Council won't have to repay government if troubled project is scrapped If the Station Gateway is scrapped North Yorkshire Council won’t have to repay government money it spent on consultants to develop the project. The Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed in June that the council had paid global consultancy WSP more than £2 million to draw up its business case and undertake designs for the Harrogate active travel scheme. All costs so far incurred on Station Gateway, including the consultants’ fees, have been paid for by the council and reimbursed by the government through its Transforming Cities Fund. But if the council decided to scrap the project, would the government then ask for this money back? According to a council spokesperson, it wouldn’t, which is one less headache for the under pressure authority when it comes to the troubled project. The Gateway has been in the works for years but is now in major doubt after North Yorkshire Council said earlier this month that it had “rescinded the decision to proceed” with its proposals due to a legal challenge. [caption id="attachment_22510" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] How the Station Gateway project would look.[/caption] In a statement, the council said it would not be proceeding at the moment to avoid “further costs and delays” after a judicial review was launched by Hornbeam Park Developments over the way the council consulted residents and businesses. A report will go before the council’s Conservative-run executive next month with recommendations for what happens next. At a meeting of North Yorkshire Council’s Conservative-run executive last week in Harrogate, council leader Carl Les said it was a “matter of some urgency” that the Gateway report is published and chief executive Richard Flinton said this would likely be ahead of an executive meeting on September 19. Mr Flinton said:

“We clearly need some time to pull the report together but understanding you want to deal with the matter as quickly as possible, we have a meeting on September 19th. "It does look quite busy but we’d look to see if we can accommodate the item on the 19th as the way forward for that report”.
By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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