Top Harrogate company reveals new Pinewoods expansion plans

One of Harrogate’s most famous brands say it remains committed to supporting the environment in the town's much-loved Pinewoods on the day it holds a public consultation over its expansion plans.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 11:22 am
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:40 pm
"We are supporting the Pinewoods" - James Cain, managing director of Harrogate Spring Water.

Harrogate Spring Water is holding the open event tomorrow, Friday, to present its revised proposals for the expansion of its hi-tech bottling facility on Harlow Moor Road.

The company prides itself on its spa water plant being a global showcase for environmental efficiency but says its own global success and the competitive nature of the market for bottled water make expansion essential.

But volunteers from charity Pinewoods Action Group say they remain concerned about the plans in terms of what they say is a loss of green space and woodland.

But James Cain, managing director of Harrogate Spring Water - which employs 110 people - said the award-winning company remained good neighbours and would replace any greenery lost in the building work.

Mr Cain said: “Whatever we take out will be put back and the end result for the Pinewoods area will be better than at the moment. We’re local people and give back to the local community. We pride ourselves on being good neighbours and we support the Pinewoods. But we are operating in a competitive era.”

The company first obtained outline planning permission for the expansion of its bottling facility in 2017.

Since then, it says it has carried out further technical and viability studies highlighting the opportunity to maximise the available footprint for development, while maintaining community space in this section of the Pinewoods.

But volunteers from the Pinewoods Conservation Group say they fear up to four acres of green space could be lost in the changes.

Chair of the PCG, Neil Hind said: “It has been almost three years since outline planning was approved so it will be interesting to see how the various conditions added by Harrogate Borough Council at the time have been addressed, especially around the planting of replacement trees.

“The loss of any open green space and woodland will likely be a concern to many local residents so we are pleased that the council has confirmed that the disposal of this council-owned designated asset of community value will be subject to public consultation.

“This will, hopefully, allow for some sensible discussion on the potential impact.”

Harrogate Spring Water - Rise of a brand to global status

The Harrogate Water Brands company began in 2002.

The UK’s number one premium water brand, Harrogate Spring Water can be found at the most prestigious events and venues, from Michelin-starred restaurants to the world’s most reputable airlines.

Holder of numerous prestigious design awards and environmental awards, it is also stocked by The Royal Albert Hall, Tate Modern and the National Trust.

Pinewoods Conservation Group: Factfile

The Pinewoods Conservation Group was formed in October 2002 and became a registered charity in 2003.

The group’s aim is to promote the maintenance and conservation of the environment within the Harrogate area and especially the area known as the Pinewoods, situated between the Valley Gardens and Harlow Carr Gardens, and such other areas within Harrogate District which the charity may feel falls within its remit.

It works to promote and encourage the conservation of the natural habitat of wildlife in the area and to advance the education of the public in the use of the woodlands by encouraging them to participate in the management of the woods.

The PCG has reinstated footpaths, erected fingerposts and information boards and provided a binocular to enhance the view of the Pinewoods panorama.