Cost of Crescent Gardens referred to Harrogate council auditing committee

Costs being accrued by Harrogate council's former headquarters Crescent Garden will be urgently referred to the authority's audit and governance committee.

How the former council headquarters at Harrogate's Crescent Gardens may end up looking.

Coun Philip Broadbank (Lib Dem, Starbeck) introduced the motion at March's full meeting of council on Wednesday.

“Due to concerns regarding the costs being accrued by the Crescent Gardens site the audit and governance committee are asked to take an urgent in depth look into this issue at their next meeting,” his motion read.

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Coun Broadbank said the move was to clarify how much the former site was costing the council.

His motion was supported by fellow Liberal Democrat Matthew Webber, and will now be the subject of a meeting between them and finance cabinet member Graham Swift before being debated at council in April.

The sale of Crescent Gardens to developer Adam Thorpe is not yet complete, with its finalisation dependent on a successful planning application being lodged by Mr Thorpe.

The developer has ambitious plans to turn the former local government headquarters into a series of luxury apartments, complete with apartments, public gardens, a restaurant and an art gallery on site.

A public consultation last month was held at the site, with sketches, plans and architectural drawings on show to members of the public.

Mr Thorpe said plans were to have an application submitted to the council in April.

The audit and governance committee is next set to meet on March 25, but the session regarding Crescent Gardens will likely be closed to the public due to commercial sensitivities.

The five-strong committee consists of four Conservatives and one Liberal Democrat.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporting Service