Following the rejection of the recent planning variation for a larger extension to the Harrogate Spring Water bottling plant into Rotary Wood, we can now confirm that the original application is now being reviewed by Harrogate Council. The full plans for the original extension were submitted in May 2020 along with the variation for the larger extension. (As a reminder outline planning for the original extension was approved in May 2017 with a number of strict condition.) We held any decision on those full plans until we knew the outcome of the application for the larger site. However, we now expect the planning committee to be asked to approve the original application over the next few months.
Our view is that the conditions outlined by the planning committee original have not been met and should not be approved. In fact these original plans could be seen as worse than those recently rejected, as they offer no compensation land with section 3.21 of the submission saying ”With regard to condition 10, at this moment in time, we believe that we can mitigate the scale of the proposal on-site.” In reality this means that the plan would be plant additional trees within Rotary Wood and not replace any lost land. This will obviously be disappointing to our members and many of the residents of Harrogate.
All the reasons to reject the larger extension still apply so we urgently need your help to object to the original application. A quick guide on objecting below if able to support.
You can object online or via email.
Type in “20/01539/REMMAJ” as the application reference and click search;
Login and make a comment (or register);
Add your text into the comments box, choose ‘object’ and submit.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and include “20/01539/REMMAJ” in the subject.
Please include your name and address and make it clear you are objection to the proposal.
We see the main reasons to object as below but you may have others to add. You may also want to read the detailed submissions from Harrogate Civic Society and Harrogate Green Party.
1.The proposals do not compensate for the ecological value of the woodland;
- There is no proposed replacement land.
- These plans will result in an ecological loss for Harrogate.
- Replacement of 15 year old and mature trees with whips on remaining land is insufficient
- The ecological surveys have not picked up protected species on site and were not conducted at appropriate times of the year, as per conditions in the Outline Permission
- 2.7 Local Plan Objective: Safeguard the natural environment for the benefit of present and future Generations
- Harrogate Biodiversity Action Plan/ mandatory Government requirement: biodiversity net gain and no loss of woodland
- The proposals do not compensate for the resulting fragmentation of wildlife that will occur – an important aspect of the Harrogate Biodiversity Action Plan for woodlands
2. The proposals do not compensate for the public amenity value;
- Rotary Wood is well used and much loved, and a designated Asset of Community Value
- Rotary Wood was planted by community groups and school children to commemorate the Rotary centenary and in recognition of the need to plant trees to absorb carbon
3. The proposals are not in line with plans for carbon neutrality in Harrogate District by 2038 as part of the national legal framework for net zero emissions by 2050.
- HBC has officially recognised the Climate Emergency and the actions needed to avert a climate crisis including;
- Protecting existing woodlands
- Planting new additional woodlands
These proposals will lead to an immediate increase in carbon emissions
4. There is no economic case made for the extended area of development. HBC Economic Growth Strategy seeks to support ‘good growth’ for ‘a more sustainable and resilient economy’. This proposal is not viable in that;
- In the past year water bottle sales fell by 6.3% / £34.2m.
- Market penetration of bottled water dropped
- Reusable bottle sales have increased (eg Ikea by 55%) indicating a consumer shift away from the polluting impact of plastic bottles
- The North Yorkshire LEP Strategy for Creating a Competitive Carbon Neutral Circular Economy:
- Strategic goals include a systems change requirement (p11) involving reducing pollutions and waste and use of sustainable materials. A systems change involves the following (highlighted for manufacturing in the LEP strategy):
- Support and enable businesses to replace existing inputs with bio-based materials and develop innovative solutions to make use of agri-food waste streams
- Create resource efficiency clusters – designout waste, explore opportunities for industrial symbiosis and stimulate collaboration
- Engage, educate and support businesses to adopt circular business models that enable optimisation of product use, recovery of valuable components and remanufacture.
Increasing the production of plastic bottles does not meet these requirements because:
- Plastic degrades upon recycling and can only be fully recycled once or twice
- Globally only 10-15% plastics are recycled
- World Economic Forum estimates at least 30% of plastics leak out of the collection system and pollute waterways and oceans
5. The impact of plastic in our oceans, land and micro plastics in fauna and humans has significant detrimental impact on the health of our ecosystems, our food and ourselves. We all have a responsibility to find and use alternative solutions.
6. There is no evidence provided regarding proposed increased water extraction which could have a detrimental impact upon the local water table, in terms of both quantity and quality. The water table is a valuable local resource and detailed investigation needs to be conducted regarding the extraction of this resource and how it will be maintained.