Road safety and minimising the loss of common land must be carefully considered by North Yorkshire County planning department before it approves a revised housing development proposal near St Alkeldas Road, Middleham Town Council agreed at its meeting on January 31.
The council was very concerned about the safe access and exit route for the residents of the existing eight semi-detached houses on The Busks where this will feed into the entrance of the proposed new estate of up to 55 houses entrance and thence to Leyburn Road. The council agreed that a detailed design for this needs to be prepared followed by a consultation with it, residents and the Highways Authority.
The council reiterated its proposal that, in addition to monetary exchange for the area of common land required for the entrance, an area of land at least six metres wide across the entire southern boundary of the development site, including the public right of way footpath, should be gifted to the community in exchange for the common land lost.
The councillors would also like to see the area in front of the eight semi-detached houses retain its full width and be tarmacked (at the developer’s expense) provided this is acceptable to the Open Spaces Society.
The council was strongly opposed to the introduction of a right turning lane for traffic from Leyburn as suggested by the Highways Authority, as that would mean an additional loss of common land. It would prefer to see the 30mph speed limit beginning further west with the resulting reduction in speed obviating the need for a turning lane.
It was noted that no such lane had been considered necessary for the right turn into St Alkeldas which is within 300 metres of the proposed entrance. And yet St Alkeldas is a through route that carries significantly more traffic to The Springs, Park Lane, St Alkeldas, Kingsley Drive, Middleham School and the Key Centre – far more than that into the new development. It was agreed that the collision and casualty data indicated that the St Alkeldas junction was working safely.
The council did request that, for safety reasons, there should be adequate street lighting at the new junction. This should, however, be designed to minimise light pollution, and the impact upon existing houses on the Busks, nearby mature trees and bird nesting areas.
Open Day. – The request from Racing Welfare to hold the annual Middleham Open Day and place public conveniences on council land on Good Friday, March 29, was approved.
It was agreed to hold a community litter picking event on Sunday March 24 starting at 10am at the Key Centre.
Speed watch. – The council discussed residents concerns about speeding in Middleham and identified the following locations to be considered by Police for enforcement: the top of the Market Place down to Kirkgate; and Leyburn Road from the Corner Cupboard Antiques Shop and Middleham Garage towards Leyburn. The clerk will report the sites of concert to the Police.
A resident had asked if additional car parking spaces could be added at the top of the green on Park Lane. The councillors note that this had been discussed before but wasn’t currently an option for the council to fund due to costs.
Police report. – PCSO Watson updated the council on vehicle related issues in the area and said there were still ongoing issues with thefts of quad bikes. Concern was also expressed about the worn road markings at the junction on Coverham Lane with the A6108 at the Market Cross.
The theft of solar equipment and a gate opener from the Low Moor equine gate has been reported to the Police.
Next meeting. – This will be at the Key Centre at 6.30pm on Wednesday February 28.