Harrogate planning amnesty for Tour de France

Chris Froome leads Team Sky round 'Cragg Vale' corner in the Tour de France stage 4 Team Time Trial in Nice.  2 July 2012.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Chris Froome leads Team Sky round 'Cragg Vale' corner in the Tour de France stage 4 Team Time Trial in Nice. 2 July 2012. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Those wishing to set up campsites, caravan sites or car parks when the district hosts the opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France will not need council permission to do so.

Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has announced it is to relax its planning rules for 28 days including the duration of the district’s hosting of the opening stages of the July event.

And, from this week, there will also be no action against people putting up temporary signs or advertising banners that would normally need council permission.

Coun Alan Skidmore is the authority’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Economic Development.

On taking the decision to relax the rules, Coun Skidmore 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 July 5 and 6.

“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.”

Nearly 500,000 people are expected to fill the district when the Tour arrives, with a further three billion watching across the globe.

The council has announced it will not require applications for permission and will take no enforcement action, as long as the temporary use of land is not for more than 28 days. The use must also not harm public safety.

Coun Skidmore said: “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.”

Have your say. Email the newsdesk ackrill.news@ypn.co.uk or call 01423707526.

Click here to visit our dedicated Tour de France section