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With nearly 500,000 people expected to descend on the district for next year’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France, Harrogate Borough Council has agreed a planning amnesty. This will make it easier for those who wish to set up temporary campsites, caravan parks or car parks. The amnesty will also cover the display of advertising material linked to the Tour.
In making the decision to relax the rules, Cllr Alan Skidmore, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Economic Development, said:
Given the scale and nature of the event, it is likely that businesses, community groups and landowners will wish to seek to benefit from the significant number of visitors to the district in the period surrounding 5 and 6 July.
We want to make it easy not difficult as we are going to rely on others to help us cope with these numbers. In turn we want everyone in the district to get as much as possible from the district hosting the world’s largest annual sporting event. We know hotel and guesthouse bedrooms have been filling fast. But we also know that we need much more bed space than they can provide. Other host towns and cities report that camping or caravanning is actually the first choice of visitors as many follow the tour on its entire route. And of course we will need more car parking spaces. There is also likely to be an increased desire for the display of advertising material linked to the Tour.
The council will not require applications for permission and will take no enforcement action, as long as the temporary use of land (with or without buildings on it) is for not more than 28 days and as long as the use does not harm public safety or residential amenity.
No action will be taken against temporary signage or advertising banners that would normally need the council’s permission between now and the finish of the Tour de France on 27 July.
The council has produced a number of guidance sheets which can be found at www.harrogate.gov.uk In the coming weeks we will also be inviting people to upload their activities planned for the Tour de France onto the council’s website so that the council can help publicise them.