Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council asked to consider upgrading play areas

Town Foot play park in Hawes.

Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council has been asked to consider upgrading the three play areas in Hawes.

Robin Peters  told the councillors on Monday, October  7 that he and Ian Fraser would continue to maintain the play areas but warned that the old equipment and surfacing needed to be replaced.

“Some of the equipment is vintage and people enjoy that but I think it is almost time for a modernisation of the parks,” he said.

The council asked them for a list of priorities, estimate of costs and where to get grants.

The chairman, Cllr Jill McMullon suggested asking local children what they would like and Mr  Peters wondered if a competition could be organised for them.

Methodist chapel. – The councillors and others at the meeting agreed that strong representation should be made to the planning appeal hearing concerning the former Methodist chapel.  The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) refused an application to convert the chapel and hall into five holiday lets.

It was agreed that the key issues were the lack of parking, severe congestion caused by bad parking,  and the increase in the number of holiday lets rather than affordable housing.

One man who lives near the chapel stated: “We are completely surrounded by holiday lets. We have lost all our privacy.”

He and the parish council also emphasised that the lane behind the chapel was a public highway.

Affordable homes. –  The meeting was told that three out of ten dwellings in Hawes were now holiday homes or second homes.  Andrew Fagg said: “In four years’ time it is conceivable that there will be fewer than 50 pupils at [Hawes Primary] School.

He asked the parish council to use its weight and influence to encourage a scheme to come forward for the construction of 23 local occupancy homes. .

Memorial. – Cllr McMullon asked if there were any suggestions for a memorial in the town to John Blackie.

Danny Jenkins had suggested that there should be a bust of Mr Blackie complete with a scarf. Cllr McMullon said that if residents wanted that funds would have to be raised locally.

She also mentioned that there had been a suggestion that the community office should be renamed as the John Blackie Community Office.

She read the statement that the parish council had submitted to the YDNP Full Authority meeting in September in which it rejected the disparaging comments that had been made about Mr Blackie in his absence at the July planning meeting.  The parish council had stated these were inappropriate and entirely untrue.

The parish council had told the YDNPA that it was the Authority that should be held to account and not Mr Blackie concerning an unsuccessful application to convert a barn in Hawes into a family home.

Cllr McMullon said: “They didn’t apologise of course.”

New councillors. – Andrew Fagg was one of five people nominated for co-option to the four vacancies on the council. Cllr McMullon explained that there was no legal requirement for all those vacancies to be filled.

Only two were proposed and then elected as councillors: Marion Lloyd  and Barry Wilcox. In a statement after that election Mr Fagg said that when interviewed he had questioned how the parish council could bring forward what he described as “a vote of no confidence in the YDNPA concerning decisions on barn conversions”.

“The Park made judgements in accordance with the Local Plan. How can you vote no confidence in an organisation that is following the rules?  But the policy clearly isn’t working perfectly. So I would urge the parish council to campaign to change the policy,” he said.

Halfway House. –  The parish council agreed to support Ruth Annison in her request to the YDNPA planning committee to hold a site meeting at Halfway House as it was also concerned about the safety of the access.

The planning committee had already approved an application to convert the barn at Halfway House into a local occupancy dwelling. The parish council told the YDNPA that the addition of a short term letting use might intensify the unsafe use of the access as well as not addressing the shortage of sustainable housing.

Highways issues. – Cllr McMullon said that various issues had been reported to North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department and she had arranged to take a representative to see the locations where there were potholes and tarmac that needed replacing.

Community projects. – The council agreed to donate £850 to the Community Pavilion Project being £350 towards the architect’s fees and £500 towards the application fee.

The parish council was thanked by GTech for helping towards the cost of purchasing a mapping tool for the B4RN Broadband Project.

Telephone boxes. – It was reported that Richmondshire District Council opposed the removal of any telephones from BT red boxes.  Cllr McMullon said that BT had posted  undated notices on some boxes  stating that the telephones would be removed within 42 days.

Caravan Park. – The meeting  was informed that the type of lodges at the Ings Caravan Park which had been refused retrospective planning permission by the YDNPA were now on the market for over £120,000.

The owner had appealed against that decision. The councillors agreed that its objections to the lodges should be sent to the appeal inspector.

Next meeting. – Is in Gayle Institute at 7.15pm on Monday December 2.

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