Following a consultation on the future of Harrogate’s Stray, Harrogate Borough Council has announced that it will not be seeking amendments to the Harrogate Stray Act 1985 which restricts the use of the Stray for events to 35 days a year and a maximum of 3.5 hectares (8.6 acres or about 4 football pitches) per event.
The consultation attracted the largest number of responses ever to a council consultation exercise with nearly 4,000 surveys completed.
Just over half of the respondents , 2,073, disagreed with the principle of changing the Stray Act to allow for a broader arrange of events, including community and charity events.
Opponents to the change were fearful that any relaxation of the Stray Act would leave it upon for housing or car parking. There was no grounding for those concerns.
Councillor Michael Harrison, Cabinet Member on the Borough Council responsible for Parks and Gardens, commented: It was a good response and this shows that we are getting it right in terms of how we publicise our consultations. This is important as it enables us to plot a way forward with evidence from residents as to their priorities.
There were 47 per cent who did not agree with the majority. That is quite a large figure so we do need to be aware that a substantial number of people – over 1,800 – took an alternative view.
We will now spend some time examining the many thousands of comments received on all the surveys. These contained suggestions of how to better manage events on the Stray, comments on current events and potential future ones.
But my message is clear. We asked you what you thought. We have listened and acted accordingly. There will be no changes to the Stray Act.
Although Harrogate Borough Council have said they will not currently pursue a change to the Stray Act, it is possible that other parties may choose to seek to amend the act.