Major changes to The Stray 'must not be rushed' - warning

The Stray in Harrogate.
The Stray in Harrogate.

Talks are still going on about the future of events on the Stray between the council and the guardians of the town’s famous parkland.

The Stray Defence Association said they had met the council last week and would be meeting them again early next week.

Harrogate Borough Council is seeking a historic review of The Stray Act to relax the rules on what events can be held there.

Chairman of The Stray Defence Association, Judy d’Arcy Thompson said: “We need to find out a great deal more about what they intend to do before we say a great deal more.

“We’ve already had a number of concerns raised by neighbours and residents about the implications.

“We feel the Stray is too important to Harrogate for this to be rushed through.”

The council is to launch consultation with the public on November 14 in a series of ‘pop-up’ events to discuss what would be the biggest revolution to hit Harrogate’s 200-acre green space since the the Enclosure Act was first passed in 1770.

Conflicting views on the subject have been coming in from readers of the Harrogate Advertiser.

Mrs Jean Lane told us: “I do not trust our councillors not to go for quick monetary gains and marketing experiences to the detriment of this unique heritage.”

Mrs Jan Barker said: “I am all in favour of these marvellous visitor draws to Harrogate which puts money into the local coffers. I would thoroughly endorse a relaxing of the laws governing how often it can be used.”

The Stray Defence Association is calling for the consultation to be thorough.

Judy d’Arcy Thompson said: “Never mind issues such as possible damage or parking, we’ve got to think about the consequences of such a move on the future of the whole of Harrogate.”