Plea to public to speak out on historic Stray Act changes

The Stray on Harrogate when the cherry blossom is out.
The Stray on Harrogate when the cherry blossom is out.
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Public consultation will start next week on what may turn out to be controversial changes to The Stray Act.

Harrogate Borough Coumcil is seeking to relax the strict rules over the 200 acres of open grassland to make it easier to hold popular events.

But they are asking the public for their opinions on the matter both online and in person.

The Stray Act stipulates that for many types of events, only 3.5 hectares - the size of an international rugby pitch - can be enclosed by fencing an area off or having tents or marquees, and that the total time for which any part of the Stray can be enclosed must not exceed 35 days annually.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and is scheduled to end at the beginning of February.

Anyone with a view is asked to visit the council’s website from 5pm approximately next Monday.

The council also hopes to have a presence at the popular Harrogate Christmas Market and is aiming to hold more in-person events over the issue in the coming weeks.

Coun Michael Harrison, deputy leader of Harrogate Borough Council said The Stray Act was very restrictive and that having more sporting, cultural, arts, food and music events could benefit the community.

The council’s public consultation details can be found from Monday at www.harrogate.gov.uk/strayact.