Meeting set between protesters and Harrogate Spring Water over controversial plans

Campaigners battling to save trees in the Pinewoods from expansion plans by Harrogate Spring Water are to have a meeting with the award-winning firm’s bosses next week.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 3:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 3:58 pm
Neil Hind of Pinewoods Conservation Group said The Guardian story had increased the profile of the controversy over Harrogate Spring Water's expansion plans.

Representatives of Pinewods Conservation Group, including its chair Neil Hind, will sit down with managing director James Cain OBE and marketing manager Nicky Cain next Wednesday at the bottling plant on Harlow Moor Road.

The residents group says the aim is to discuss the plans in more detail and to share its concerns.

The PCG also says it has now raised more than 50% of its £5,000 target to pay for legal advice.

It says Harrogate Spring Water’s plans would increase the size of the plant by more than 40%.

The UK’s leading water brand, Harrogate Spring Water prides itself on its spa water plant being a global showcase for environmental efficiency and ethical standards. However, it says, its own global success and the competitive nature of the market for bottled water make expansion absolutely essential.

In November last year, the company held a public consultation to discuss the latest version of its plans to expand its state-of-the-art bottling plant on Harlow Moor Road which would affect the four acres of the Pinewoods known as Rotary Wood.

At the time its managing director James Cain OBE told the Harrogate Advertiser: “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.

“Mr Cain said: “We pride ourselves on being good neighbours and we support the Pinewoods. But we are operating in a competitive era.”

Last week, a Harrogate Borough Council statement confirmed that Harrogate Spring Water’s plans would now be referred to the full planning committee.

The latest developments follow the publication last weekend by The Guardian of a prominent story highlighting the controversy both online and in print.

Neil Hind of Pinewoods Conservation Group said: “The Guardian story has increased the profile of this threat not only nationally but also internationally with messages of support from as far as Australia, who are more aware than most of the climate threat.”

The deadline for donations to the Savings The Pinewoods from Development Crowd Justice fundraising appeal is Sunday, January, 26, 8am.