Alternative uses for the site of Colburn lorry park are to be examined after community leaders said building facilities there for truckers would not prevent antisocial behaviour in the surrounding area.
Richmondshire District Council’s corporate board has agreed to spend £20,000 on a wide-ranging feasibility study on whether the Colburn lorry park site off Catterick Road should be developed as part of an economic action plan.
While some councillors said spending £20,000 on the study would be a waste of money, both the leader of the authority and the opposition leader agreed that establishing facts about the site was important before making a decision on its future.
The economic action plan, funded by the government’s Levelling Up initiative for local infrastructure projects that have visible impact on communities, will also see surveys of potential redevelopment of Catterick Garrison town centre, a study on resolving parking issues in the Wensleydale village of Askrigg and over developing land for warehouses near the A1(M) Catterick junction.
The meeting heard overnight lorry parking issues had developed in Colburn after the council-owned lorry park, which can accommodate about 18 wagons, opened about ten years ago to enable local drivers to park there overnight for free.
Councillor Philip Wicks said: “The error, it seems to me, was to advertise the lorry park to all-comers.
“This has resulted in more and more lorries over the years parking overnight throughout Colburn than can be accommodated in the lorry park.
“This has resulted in the ongoing complaints of antisocial behaviour being caused by the lack of facilities.
“The provision of shower or toilet facilities would not solve this problem.”
He said the antisocial behaviour issues being endured by residents of Colburn, which is one of North Yorkshire’s most deprived areas, would not be tolerated in other parts of Richmondshire.
The majority of members agreed while some short-term action such as a portable toilet was needed to address the lack of facilities at the lorry park, it would be “ludicrous” to spend an estimated £37,000 building toilets and showers there ahead of the feasibility study establishing options for the site.
The meeting heard the starting point of the study would be to examine whether the lorry park will be needed for overnight lorry parking once the planned motorway service station at the the A1(M) Catterick junction is built.
Councillors were also told the study would prime the site for a housing, retail or community facilities development.
Officers said the feasibility study would be completed in the autumn to enable both the district council and Colburn Town Council to discuss options.