Letter: Valley Gardens - Please move the Streat Festival

Streat Food Festival. (1608273AM9)
Streat Food Festival. (1608273AM9)

Reading Coun Cooper’s letter (Harrogate Advertiser, September 15) in response to the complaints about the StrEat Food Festival, I could not tell whether he thought the council had made the right decision or not in allowing the festival to happen in Valley Gardens.

The promoter however, seems to have no such doubts and her website www.streatpr.co.uk shows the booking in Valley Gardens over August Bank Holiday weekend in 2017. She also has a Christmas StrEat Food Festival booked in Valley Gardens in December this year with ‘Dates to be finalised’.

This is in addition to a whole host of other events in the area with six ‘Victoria Kitchen Street Food Festivals’ throughout 2017 which presumably take place around the Victoria Centre in town.

Clearly the promoter is an entrepreneur with ambitions and she is to be commended but as Christine Parker (Letters, September 15) correctly pointed out, the clue to our problem is in the name of her company.

HBC recently adopted a new town centre plan which proposes further pedestrianisation of central Harrogate and the drawings showed all sorts of al fresco pavement dining.

So, Coun Cooper, with this commitment to street dining, why are you now allowing the StrEat Food Festivals to do serious damage in Harrogate’s beautiful Valley Gardens when they could be held on Oxford or Cambridge Street? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

If the council is already contractually committed to hosting next year’s event in Valley Gardens, for heaven’s sake, please move it up the hill to the space between the pitch and putt course and the Pinewoods; there is plenty of room and the potential for damage will be greatly reduced.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to walk up through the gardens and take in their beauty, the Sunday band can play unimpeded as usual, and any weddings booked in the Sun Pavilion over the Bank Holiday weekend (there were two this year) can enjoy their day without noise and the smell of street food wafting into their proceedings.

David Mason

Chapman Square. Harrogate