Showground site’s fears for the future

Nidderdale Showground, Pateley Bridge.
Nidderdale Showground, Pateley Bridge.

The future of celebrations at Nidderdale’s showground could be under threat after noise complaints about the site.

A series of noisy events last spring and summer led to complaints from nearby residents who had been disturbed by loud music late into the night.

Three events happened on consecutive weekends in May and June 2012, including a conference by Christian group Mighty Men, president of Nidderdale Agricultural Society’s John Fort confirmed.

And as the showground does not have a permanent licence but relies on temporary event notices for individual events, there are fears that last year’s complaints could make it more difficult for future events to get the licences they need.

A Harrogate Borough Council spokesman has confirmed the council will be forced to consider noise nuisance when deciding whether to allow events at the showground.

“The council is very supportive of non-agricultural events at the showground which bring in extra money to the Dales but if nuisance is being experienced, particularly sleep disturbance to residents, it has to be considered and controlled,” she added.

But a threat to events at the showground could have far reaching implications for the area, showground supporters have warned.

Mr Fort said: “Events like the Young Farmers’ are part of our heritage here, and it’s not just the agricultural society this will affect but the whole town.

“The High Street depends on what the society does for the extra business it brings to Pateley Bridge.”

A borough council spokesman explained that while the agricultural society applies for Temporary Event Notices for “recognised agricultural events” like the Young Farmers’ Ball and the Nidderdale Show, the situation is different when the society rents the showground out to third parties for events such as weddings and parties.

In that case, it is the people holding the event who apply.

HBC’s Environmental Protection Team received noise complaints after musical events in May and June and after a wedding in July, she added.