A POLICE force has been accused of creating chaos by moving its headquarters to a site which does not have sufficient parking spaces for its staff in a town centre with a history of parking issues.

North Yorkshire Police has recently moved from its rural base at grade II listed Newby Wiske Hall, which had hundreds of parking spaces - to a specially designed base at Alverton Court, in Northallerton.

Since the police relocation, residents claim workers have left their cars on nearby streets as on-site parking is restricted to operational vehicles and senior officers.

Claire Blackwell, who lives close to the Alverton Court base, said: “These streets were busy enough before the HQ was moved, but now I know of times when neighbours haven’t been able to get their cars out. I can’t believe the relocation went ahead before a parking solution had been agreed.”

Mark Stuart, who drives past the headquarters on his way to work, added: “It has caused havoc in the area, every morning I see workers fighting for a space.

"I can’t say I blame them. The alternative is to pay to park, which nobody wants to do.”

Similar complaints have been aired about the number of parking spaces at North Yorkshire County Council’s headquarters at County Hall.

In recent years, car parking on residential streets near the town centre has become an increasing issue, particularly following the introduction of parking charges on the High Street.

Residents have regularly vented frustration over being unable to park outside their homes, leading to numerous residents-only parking zones.

Meanwhile, low-wage workers say they cannot afford to pay for parking and have complained about having to park significant distances from their workplaces.

However, there is a long stay car park a few minutes’ walk from the new police headquarters which is rarely full.

A police spokeswoman said: “All members of staff were advised of the alternative parking availability across Northallerton well in advance of their move to Alverton Court.

“We have also introduced agile working, allowing staff to work from home or at police premises nearer home, if they choose.

“Although there is no power to enforce the removal of any vehicles unless they are parked illegally, we encourage our staff to park courteously and considerately.”

“We recently invited local people to a meeting to discuss their concerns and to work together to build a harmonious relationship.

“It was a very constructive meeting and residents suggested a number of solutions which we are exploring.”

It is understood Julia Mulligan, the county's Police and Crime Commissioner, has been in discussions with Hambleton District Council regarding long-term solutions.

After plans to relocate were made public, councillors speculated about the potential for using part of the Allertonshire School site, which was vacated by Northallerton College in September, as a place to park.

The school, which has two sites on one of the main roads into town, used to house pupils aged from 11 to 14, but is now only home to Year 7 students.