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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
Leeds festival gets go-ahead
Stage at Bramham Park
The festival will go ahead at Bramham Park
This year's Leeds Festival will go ahead despite a last-minute hitch on a planning technicality.

Leeds City Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening after festival organisers failed to apply for planning permission for two temporary access roads to the site at Bramham Park, near Wetherby.

The council planning meeting was held to decide what action to take - less than 72 hours before the first band were due to take to the stage.

Planners agreed to take no action over the breach, ensuring the festival will go ahead.

I think it's very good for Leeds, personally
Councillor Bernard Atha

Councillor John Procter, who represents Wetherby and sits on the planning panel, told BBC Look North: "The panel decided not to take any action and that's something I do regret.

"I think people should put (planning) applications in and they should be judged by the appropriate elected members."

But Councillor Bernard Atha, said: "I think it's very good for Leeds, personally I can't stand the noise they make at those festivals, I can't enjoy them, but thousands do.

"And it's no reason why if I shouldn't enjoy opera, they shouldn't enjoy a pop festival.

"It's good for Leeds, and it puts Leeds on the map in a different sector of the public than previously."

Temporary road
The temporary roads were at the centre of the planning debate
Opponents of the three-day Bank Holiday event had called on the council to take "enforcement action" over the temporary board roads.

The roads are at the A64 York Road opposite the Fox and Grapes pub, and at the corner of Bramham Road and Mangrill Lane in Thorner.

Catriona Laycock, chair of Thorner Parish Council and a leading opponent of the festival's move to the site, told BBC News Online: "It was an extremely close-run thing with a 6-5 vote not to take enforcement action over the exit roads at the site.

"We're very disappointed, but not surprised, this would be the decision of the committee."

She said residents in the area of the park were still very concerned about the event.

"We're very nervous about it, small rural villages are not designed to cope with a massive influx of traffic and people."

If the two disputed roads had been closed, it would have left the festival with just one access route for the expected 50,000 revellers.

Melvyn Benn of the festival's organisers, the Mean Fiddler group, pointed out that access to the site had been organised with safety in mind even though the group should have sought the planning permission earlier.

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