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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Welcomes Licensing Decision on Proposed Use of Monk Stray for Events

March 27, 2014

After making several representations on behalf of hundreds of residents in the Heworth Without area, Julian is delighted that the Licensing Committee have massively scaled back the Council’s plans to use the Monk Stray open space for public events.

If approved, the Council’s original licensing application would have allowed them to use the stray to host large scale events, serving alcohol on 14 days in any year and potentially attracting tens of thousands of visitors to a predominantly residential area.

The Council’s plans sparked written objections from over 280 residents, including Julian as the local MP and a turbulent public hearing, in which Julian joined several local residents in voicing concerns. The main points of objection centred around the impact on parking, traffic, noise, public nuisance, litter, anti social behaviour and public safety.

During the Licensing Committee meeting, Julian said:

“I am concerned that the Council’s plans will unnecessarily infringe on the local residents’ enjoyment of their own homes and cause a risk to public safety. While there is strong support for the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France within the community, there are very reasonable concerns surrounding the obvious impacts of hosting regular events, attracting tens of thousands of people at a time, in what is essentially a residential area. While a permanent licence may suit the Council’s agenda, it completely ignores the wishes of the local community.”

As a result of the very strong grounds for objection put forward by the community, the Licensing Committee resolved to grant a one day only licence for the stray for the 6th July to coincide with the Tour de France coming to the City. The serving hours were also cut back, so that alcohol could only be sold until 8pm and Council officers were told that litterpicking works following the event must include the neighbouring residential streets in addition to the stray itself. The Committee Members received rounds of applause from several residents after announcing their decision.

Welcoming their decision, Julian said:

“I welcome the fact that this Trojan Horse for a permanent licence has been rightly stopped in its tracks. I must praise the committee members for listening carefully to the very explicitly expressed concerns from the community over the Council’s longer term ambitions for the stray. The site is very clearly not suitable for regular events attracting tens of thousands of people at a time and I’m glad that common sense has prevailed. I must also commend the hundreds of residents who spoke out against the Council’s plans and made their objections known. Tuesday was a good day for democracy in York, despite the Council’s best endeavours. Should the Cabinet Member appeal the decision I will do everything in my power to ensure it is disallowed.”

Pictured: Julian with Timothy Kirkhope MEP next to Monk Stray in Heworth Without