Seamer Horse Fair site to become permanent

Numbers of people at Seamer Horse Fair have fallen in recent years.
Numbers of people at Seamer Horse Fair have fallen in recent years.

Scarborough Council has applied to make a field just outside the town a permanent home for an annual travellers horse fair.

The Seamer Horse Fair has origins which date back to a Royal Charter issued in November 1382 by Richard II.

However, it was not until the 1900s that the fair became associated with travellers.

For the last nine years, the fair has been held in a field off the B1261 between Seamer and Crossgates and the number attending the fair has fallen sharply.

Previously, travellers had been known set up camp on parcels of land around the area which had led to conflict with residents of the village.

The council has planning permission to use the site to house the travellers but the planning application granted in 2015 specified that it would be re-examined after three years.

Scarborough Council has now applied to use the site on a “continuing” basis.

The planning application submitted shows the decline in the numbers of people attending the fair.

At its peak, more than 230 travellers set up their homes on the field but this year that number dropped to just 55.

In his application the council’s asset and risk manager, Martin Pedley writes: “I believe that during the nine years that the travellers have been accommodated on the land .. the impact

upon the settled community has been reduced from that previously experienced when the travellers occupied land without consent.”

He concludes: “I am satisfied that the site is fit for the intended purpose and provides the only realistic solution with regards to addressing the ongoing issues raised by the annual travellers horse fair held in Seamer. No viable alternative site has been identified that would meet the needs of the traveller community and the settled community.”

The application will be decided before February 16.