The hotel sits north of the proposed facilities and golf course. Credit: planning documents

All-clear for Rudding Park leisure upgrade

North Yorkshire Council has greenlit plans to create a new golf and country club and an outdoor pool at the Harrogate venue.

As the scheme includes Green Belt incursion, the decision must go to the Secretary of State for final approval, but the first main hurdle has been overcome.

The project team is led by planner Carter Jonas and architect Enjoy Design, and also includes energy and sustainability consultant Hydrock, heritage advisor Lanpro, Urban Wilderness, Smeeden Foreman, transport advisor Vectos and The Tree & Woodland Company.

In submitting the plans, Simon Mackaness, representing the family that has owned the park since 1972, said that upgrading facilities described by Carter Jonas as “no longer fit for purpose” was necessary so that Rudding Park could “remain the jewel in the crown for Harrogate tourism”.

Broadly, planning officers agreed, reporting ahead of committee that “significant weight” should be given to the positive economic impact of the proposal.

The business justification case as submitted estimated that the proposed development will contribute a total additional economic impact of £14.3m per year through employment, local suppliers and tourism spend multiplier effects, bringing the total economic impact for Rudding Park as a whole to £71.1m.

Key elements of the project include:

  • Demolition of the existing golf club facility and related outbuildings, along with the partial demolition of a later addition to the Deer Shed
  • A new two-storey golf and country club complex on a 32,000 sq ft footprint, including pool, club and related facilities
  • A new tennis pavilion with outdoor courts, parking and associated areas
  • A new family facility adjacent to Rudding Park’s walled garden, including a children’s activity centre, indoor and outdoor pools, café and creche
  • Restoration works to the walled garden and its surrounds
  • Improvements to parking areas, along with new walkways and public realm investment.

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