£75m Harrogate plan delays: No work yet at Crescent Gardens

Controversial vision -  An artist's impression of part of the proposed redevelopment at Harrogate's Crescent Gardens area.
Controversial vision - An artist's impression of part of the proposed redevelopment at Harrogate's Crescent Gardens area.

It’s now been more than 18 months since Harrogate property developer Adam Thorpe unveiled his controversial £75 million plans to transform Crescent Gardens but no work has yet begun at Harrogate Borough Council’s former headquarters.

At the time that his bid was accepted by the council in March 2017, the developer said he hoped to be applying for planning permission “within the next few weeks” and that he expected to begin actual work in summer 2017 ready for completion in 2020.

In July he then admitted that the complexity of this luxurious and controversial project had delayed the plans by his firm ATP (Crescent Gardens) Ltd.

Speaking this week to the Harrogate Advertiser, developer Adam Thorpe said he had now applied for the lease to make use of the public space at Crescent Gardens after the council decided to advertisedthe site was now available.

He said the long-awaited planning application would come in early 2019,

Adam Thorpe said: “We have completed the first pre application stage of planning, our second pre application stage is expected in the next three weeks, which will take a few weeks.

“Following that, we expect our architects Squire & Partner to submit the formal planning application early next year.”

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: “Mr Thorpe has applied to be granted a lease of public open space known as Crescent Gardens.

“There are conditions to this.

“Mr Thorpe needs to secure planning permission and complete the purchase of our old offices.

“We have not received a planning application yet.”

Harrogate Civic Society is already on record as opposing the £75 million plan, saying in its opinion it was simply unworkable.

Not only does his high-end vision of the future mean building ten to 14 apartments and two penthouses at prices he says will range from £2.5m to £10 million each, it also includes ambitious ideas for the public spaces in the area.

But Adam Thorpe says his aim was to do the town proud.

He said: “Our team have been working closely with the council on the design and a lot of joint effort and thought that has gone into the gardens.

“It is very important for the people of Harrogate as well a for our clients who have chosen to live at Crescent Gardens to restore and create a beautiful open space for the Spa Quarter including a Spa and wellness centre."

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