Closure of lorry park would allow creation of safe community space, say town councillors

The location of Colburn Lorry Park.

Town councillors have explained their reasoning behind a proposal to close a lorry park.

Colburn Town Council is proposing to buy the existing lorry park in Colburn from Richmondshire District Council (RDC) and use the area for community use.

Community leaders say that for a number of years there have been problems of human faeces, litter, fly tipping and anti social behaviour at the site, and their proposal would create a safer community space for use by local residents.

The plan has attracted criticism from those who say it should remain as a lorry park.

In response the town council has explained its reasoning by the proposal to purchase the site and has confirmed it would not shut the lorry park until alternative facilities were available at a planned new motorway service area at the A1(M) Catterick junction.

Here is the council’s statement in full: 

Colburn lorry park was historically next to a large 30 odd acre industrial estate making concrete products.

It was created (c)70s to facilitate local drivers living in Colburn. Originally overnight stays were by residents who lived in houses and used their own facilities resulting in no public impact.   

Nowadays, the vast majority of drivers at the lorry park are passing through, parking for free either there or all around the business and industrial estates – despite there being no facilities. In total there are approximately 50 vehicles parked throughout Colburn most evenings.

It is worth noting that since the onset of Covid 19 none of the unofficial toilet facilities in pubs or clubs have been available to drivers 

It is no longer located in isolation – sitting  in the environs of a rapidly growing residential estate. The lorry park has been identified for many years as an area which is disrespected – frequently the site of human faeces, litter, fly tipping and anti social behaviour. Totally inappropriate in a residential area.

Until the 00s it benefitted from the public toilets at Broadway which were always open despite being constantly vandalised costing Richmondshire District Council (RDC) a small fortune.

RDC closed many public toilets and at the time the town council was not in a position to take them over and subsequently they were demolished. Way back then a portaloo was installed. It was not appreciated, and invariably was filthy and again constantly vandalised; in fact drivers refused to use it. This was ultimately removed.

Despite many meetings with the previous RDC administration the requests by Colburn town council in their Colburn Plan to have recreational infrastructure in an area which has been drowned by housing was refused.

At that time the second choice of improvement of conditions at the lorry park was addressed by a new fence. The lorry park is considered by the majority of the town council to be the best location for recreation in an area starved of facilities – everything from a market area, bowling green, youth facility, skate park etc have been considered.

Acquiring the site would result in further public consultation over its future alternative use. Obtaining the land with restrictions on it would mean it can be sold to Colburn Town Council by RDC at a price lower than what would be a commercial rate – something that as happened throughout the district over the years. 

It should be noted that there was extensive public consultation during the production of the Colburn Plan which included views on  play parks/open spaces, anti social behaviour and how people saw Colburn advancing in the future.

This led to the town council contacting local landowners for community space. The only land which was identified was Colburn lorry park.  This fitted the town council aspirations due to its central location. 

Aside from forward planning the town council has accepted that there is a need to follow a green agenda. To that end to use the land as envisaged would take away the contamination of the land, improve the air quality from the constantly running vehicles, rid us of the environmental health issues as well as making it a safer community space for the many homes and children that are affected nearby as well as the wider community. It is important to understand the history of this site.

Now is the time for the town council to strike and to move the lorry park forward as until recently there was no prospect of a motorway service area (MSA) with specifically identified parking with the necessary ablutions. This is now imminent – the intention would be to keep the Colburn lorry park open until vehicles can relocate to the MSA. There would be many more than the approximate 15 or so unmarked spaces that exist now.

Having taken advice and due to the operating rules around local government ironically none of the three town councillors who sit on Richmondshire District Council corporate board can vote at Richmondshire due to a conflict of interests.  

Having regard to the many comments and views and to ensure complete transparency the future of the lorry park will be decided by the full district council – again councillors Dale, Foster and Grant will be advised that it would not be appropriate for them to vote. 

 

2 Comments

  1. I am a member of Colburn. Town councilI received an e mail about this press release today at 1153 informing me I had till office closes to reply. I did not open the e mail till 2pm rang the office no answer this is not democratic at all.This does not represent my view at all

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