Planning approved for £9million council office

Knapping Mount artist impression from April 2014
Knapping Mount artist impression from April 2014

Planning permission has been granted for Harrogate Borough Council’s proposed new state-of-the-art £9million office.

Councillors voted ten to six in favour of approval, after an hour of debate which was dominated by car parking issues.

Coun Pat Marsh (Lib Dem, Woodfield) left the chamber after the debate became heated and chair of the planning committee Coun Nigel Simms (Con, ) cut her off and refused to let her finish her sentence.

Coun Marsh repeatedly pointed out the lack of car parking in the plans and said she was concerned this could have a knock on affect on town centre parking.

The plans involve car parking allocations for 220 cars for around 350 members of staff, with 130 car parking spaces reserved at the HIC.

This means on conference days, delegates will be advised to park else where in town.

Coun Marsh said: “So the HIC delegates are going to take up spaces in the shoppers car park in the town centre, where will the shoppers park? This will have a knock on effect on the town centre economy.”

Despite parking worries the committee voted in favour of the plans which architects described as ‘people friendly’ and ‘high quality’.

The planning committee voted in favour of deferring the decision to the Chief Planner, who will be authorised to approve the plans subject to certain conditions – including the signing of a Section 106 Agreement.

A final decision on whether to build new headquarters will be made by full council in the summer.

How your councillor voted:

Coun Anthony Alton - For

Coun Mike Chambers - For

Coun Iain Mann - For

Coun Margaret Atkinson - For

Coun Ian Galloway - For

Coun Greta Knight - Against

Coun Pat Marsh - Against

Coun Bernard Bateman - For

Coun Robert Windass - For

Coun Chris Lewis - For

Coun Jim Clark - For

Coun Shirley Fawcett - Against

Coun Trevor Chapman - Against

Coun Andrew Goss - Against

Coun Sid Hawke - For

Coun Nigel Simms (chair) - Against