For the council to want to use 20 hectares of Stray to stage large events is quite outrageous. This is more than even the largest part of the Stray, from Oatlands Drive to Wetherby Road.
To enclose such a enormous space even once a year would be unacceptable and severely reduce the amenity of the Stray.
The council keeps repeating the fallacy that the Tour de France utilised 15 hectares of Stray land. While the whole of West Park, including the roads, is about 14 hectares, large areas weren’t used: none of the Stray down Montpellier Hill was enclosed, and there were wide areas of open space next to Beech Grove, Otley Road and West Park.
Less than two thirds of the total area was actually used, plus a small area on Oatlands Drive for storing refuse bins. All this added up to less than 10 hectares.
For the council to want an extra 10 hectares on top of this for ‘flexibility’ suggests bad planning. Indeed, when the council applied to Government for permission to suspend the Act for the Tour de France, they requested 19.5 hectares to stage it.
The Government preference was ‘for the council to use the smallest parcel of land possible, so to minimise disruption.’ The council would do well to remember this.
Leeds Road, Harrogate