Overhaul proposed for Harrogate’s ‘jewel in crown’
Plans to redevelop leisure facilities at the Rudding Park hotel and conference centre include a new golf and country club and an outdoor pool.
In plans now filed with North Yorkshire Council, Simon Mackaness, representing the family that has owned the park since 1972, said that “to remain the jewel in the crown for Harrogate tourism, Rudding Park must develop these high-quality fitness, sports, leisure and recreational spaces to complement the hotel, spa and house and legacy of the last 50 years’ development”.
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 the planning statement lodged with the council, Carter Jonas said that “the plan for Rudding Park is to upgrade aging facilities, which are no longer fit for purpose”.
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.
Directly north of the village of Follifoot, the 300-acre Rudding Park sits on the outskirts of Harrogate and is a major conference and events destination, 90-bedroom hotel and spa.
The Rudding Park site houses various listed buildings along with the main grade one-listed Rudding Park House.
Along with 18- and six-hole golf courses, the estate encompasses a 57-acre holiday and caravan park, which will be reduced to make way for new facilities should the redevelopment be approved.
Although the site is within the Green Belt, the application documents stress that the scheme is one of replacing facilities rather than adding to the built environment in a major way, and that the local economic benefits mean the threshold of “very special circumstances” required for Green Belt development are met.