Harrogate’s Crescent Gardens fencing to remain for ‘foreseeable future’
Apr 4, 2024
The fencing in Crescent Gardens.

Fencing put up in Harrogate’s Crescent Gardens six months ago shows no sign of being removed.

Fences were erected to block a group of rough sleepers last October, who set up an encampment in the pavilion.

It came after nearby residents complained of anti-social behaviour from the rough sleepers, who were removed from the site after two weeks.

The Stray Ferret followed the saga closely at the time – and in the months following – and has repeatedly tried to find out what long-term measures would be put in place to prevent similar encampments and help those needing accommodation.

However, six months on, the fencing look set to remain indefinitely.

When we approached North Yorkshire Council for an update, Karl Battersby, the council’s corporate director for environment, said:

“The temporary fencing will remain up for the foreseeable future until a further solution can be found.

“We are working with Harrogate Business Improvement District with a view to wrapping it with images of the town/area in the short term.”

Matthew Chapman, chief executive of Harrogate BID, said the organisation held talks with the council along these lines before Christmas, and it was willing to “re-open that conversation”.

Rough sleepers offered ‘support and accommodation daily’

The Stray Ferret also asked what provisions are in place to help homeless people in Harrogate.

Kim Robertshaw, the council’s head of housing needs, said:

“We have a proactive rough sleeper team that engages with people at risk of rough sleeping on a daily basis, offering support and accommodation.

“We hope this consistent approach continues to reduce the number of instances where encampments are created in Harrogate. Where incidents do occur we work with partners to resolve issues as quickly as we can.”

The news comes just weeks after the Stray Ferret’s Trading Hell series, which investigated the anti-social behaviour faced by business owners in Harrogate.

Some traders did not feel confident that such offences would be dealt with by authorities, and some even pointed the finger at rough sleepers as the root cause.

You can read our Trading Hell feature on homeless charity, Harrogate Homeless Project, here.

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