Middleham councillors agree in principle to 70 new houses

A string of Mark Johnston horses in Middlham. Photo: Ian Preston.

Middleham Town Council has agreed to support in principle the outline planning application for a proposed residential development at St Alkelda’s Road but wants clarification on some issues.

The application is for up to 70 residential dwellings and the council felt that this was excessive both for the site and the wider community.

The council noted preferences expressed at the recent community meeting in favour of two and three bedroom affordable houses rather than those with four bedrooms. It was also felt that local applications for housing should receive priority and that the houses should not be used for holiday lets.

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At the council meeting it was noted that there were inaccuracies and omissions of key details in the outline application.

Jubilee fountain. – R A Wheeler had informed the council that the indicative costs for restoring the fountain to its original condition and working order were between £14,500 and £19,000.

The clerk was asked to seek confirmation from Richmondshire Buildings Preservation Trust whether it would provide 100 per cent funding.

Speeding tractors. – It was reported that there were frequent incidents of agricultural vehicles being driven too fast through the town.

The clerk was requested to report these concerns via the Community Speed Watch webpage of North Yorkshire Police and to seek advice on the best way to deal with this issue.

Cobbles. – A resident told the council that areas of the cobbles on Castle Hill were covered with moss and grass. This was both unsightly and was a potential slip hazard, especially as some of the cobbles were loose.

The chairman, Councillor Sue Fairhurst, stated that the council’s land maintenance contractor sprayed the cobbled areas twice a year and that an annual condition survey was carried out by the council.

It was agreed that, as this was an ongoing issue, two councillors would carry out a further inspection, and that the clerk would ensure that residents were informed when spraying would be carried out so that any planters could be moved.

It was also agreed that the access road on the eastern side of the Plantations, which the council owns, should be regularly inspected.

Overgrown vegetation.  – Between meetings a majority of councillors had approved cutting back overgrown vegetation alongside the road that leads to the playing field but that work had not been carried out. Some of the trees would be pruned by volunteers.

The owner of a hedge alongside the path by the play areas in Park Lane had informed the council that this would be cut it back.

Town wastes. – Councillor Simon Wheeler agreed to speak to the landlord of the Black Bull Hotel about the increasing number of kegs being stored on the hotel’s land facing onto East Witton Road.

The council was told that there had been complaints from residents about late night drinking outside the Richard III Hotel. It was agreed to write to the landlords to remind them that the furniture rental agreement stipulated that the furniture should not be used after 11pm.

Cllr Fairhurst had been assured by the estate agent for Kent House that it would hire a pest control company to eradicate the rats believed to emanate from that property.

It was agreed to write to Highways requesting that a dedicated parking spot be provided outside West Hill House where the post-office van stops to access the Wi-Fi on the pole outside Sundial House.

Play areas. – A detailed risk report had been received from RoSPA for the two play areas near The Springs. The overall risk rating for each area was given as “medium”, and there were no items requiring urgent attention.  The skate park will be included in the inspection next year.

Annual return. – The Council’s annual return  had been reviewed and approved by the external auditor.

The annual return would now be posted on the council’s website and printed copies made available for public inspection.  The issues raised in the previous year had all been satisfactorily addressed.

Next meeting. – Is at the Key Centre at 7pm on Wednesday October 25.