No permission

I NOTICE that your report relating to a new building that had been erected in open moorland in Upper Teesdale without planning permission referred only to the building itself and not other works that have taken place nearby and further afield (D&S Times County Durham edition, Oct 15).

Anyone who goes up to Lartington High Moor, west of Barnard Castle, can see a helipad and large areas of plastic runway material that have been laid into the moorland to facilitate the taxiing, take-off and landing of light aircraft. One of these runways leads directly from the massive new building, which any reasonable observer will conclude is to be or is being used as an aircraft hangar.

The bright orange windsock is a bit of a giveaway as well.

Apart from the above there has been extensive engineering work carried out on a moorland track that leads for some miles over towards Lartington.

All this was brought to the attention of the planning authority at the county council in March and no enforcement action has been taken.

While this remote development could understandably slip under the planning radar, I remain baffled as to why no tangible progress has been made to force the landowner to rectify the situation after nearly nine months.

Adrian Hobbs, Bowes.

TV signal help

IN his latter “TV mast woes” (D&S Times, Oct 21) Len Shepherd of Leyburn, raises the issue of the support available for those people living in areas where there remains no TV signal following the fire at Bilsdale transmitter in August. We understand what an extremely frustrating time this has been for Mr Shepherd and for many more people in North Yorkshire and across the region whose TV services have been affected, and we apologise for that.

Our engineering teams are working hard to restore services as quickly as possible, and we are building more smaller sites across the area which will soon offer further help. We are providing support to all those affected via a call centre and a website to help with re-tuning, or visits from engineers for those people who need additional assistance with re-pointing their aerials. The new, 80-metre temporary mast at Bilsdale which was switched on earlier this month has helped the large majority of people in the region, and about 95 per cent now have a TV service.

For the 16,000 or so households in what we call “not-spot” areas, where signals have not been restored, we recently announced additional support. As Mr Shepherd rightly says, we have sent out official letters on how to claim £50 vouchers to buy TV streaming devices through Currys, in store or online. As stated in the Darlington & Stockton Times last week and elsewhere, these devices require WiFi and broadband so as such they will not provide a solution for everyone affected in the specific areas receiving the letters. If that is the case, then householders or their carers can instead please call us on the freephone number 0800 121 4828 to discuss how we can provide help. For those able to gain access to it, updates and information can be found at

Shuja Khan, chief commercial officer, Arqiva.

Online caution

THE internet is full of health products, often offered by American companies, but unfortunately it is not likely that one receives what has been promised; it is all a big hype.

The latest is a slimming pill which is enthusiastically promoted by a popular TV show. My experience is that an order for under £50 was added to without my approval and the final sum was more than £300.

When trying to telephone or email, I found that the telephone was not answered, nor did their email addresses function.

Whilst I have no idea whether the slimming pills actually work, or are safe, I am quite sure that the hassle which this transaction caused has lost me some weight anyway.

May I suggest to all your readers that they should be cautious about medical products on the internet, and only take any supplements and medical products after checking with their GP.

They should be cautious as the advertisements on the internet may well be a scam, and the business ethics in the USA are not the same as here in Britain, or in the EU.

Trying to lose a few pounds is never easy. A safe way is a balanced diet, smaller portions and don’t eat after 7pm. Sadly, my slimming resolve falls apart when I see a delicious sherry trifle and a pint of good English ale.

Bernard Borman, Leyburn.

Welcome breakfast

ON Facebook it was mentioned there would be a breakfast at Northallerton fire station on October 22 for people with dementia and Parkinson’s, the charge was £2 .

I have dementia so thought I would go for my breakfast – you could take a carer with you. They served from 11am 'til 12.30pm and I was made very welcome.

The ladies were very friendly and asked what I would like. I chose poached egg on toast with a cup of tea.

Their next breakfast is on November 19 and I will certainly be going. Thank you ladies for making me feel so welcome.

Margaret Sanders, Northallerton.

School closure

I WAS saddened but not surprised to hear of the threatened closure of yet another North Yorkshire school, at Baldersby St James (D&S Times, Oct 15).

There are many Church of England Schools in the diocese and many sit on very valuable sites. Am I being too cynical to suggest the two are connected?

I would just strongly advise governors of all Church of England schools to examine very carefully their foundation or original deeds to establish what might happen if the school closed.

David Williams, former chair of governors, Arkengarthdale Church of England School, Langthwaite.

Planning meeting

I FULLY endorse the letter “Planning debacle” (D&S Times, Oct 15) as a very true description of the planning meeting which gave planning consent for the hotel and country store development at Leyburn.

The report in the paper the previous week gave a sensationalised account of the meeting.

The presentation of the facts by the planning officer was poor and hardly audible.

I was present at the meeting as a concerned adjoining landowner.

Marjorie Iveson, Leyburn.

Bleak future

I COMPLETELY agree with your correspondent Dudley Edwards' letter “Covid debt crisis” (D&S Times, Oct 15).

Having visited an area stretching from Baku on the Caspian Sea, I obtained Peter Frankopan’s book – The Silk Roads, and discovered that history may well be about to repeat itself.

On page 191 he wrote as a result of the Black Death in the 1350s there was a severe shortage of manual workers – but the remaining members of the population gained bargaining power due to the fact that their numbers had receded.

"The empowerment of the peasantry, of labourers and of women, was matched by a weakening of the propertied classes – as landlords were forced to accept lower rents for their holdings – deciding that it was better to receive some revenue than none at all," the book says.

The position we are currently witnessing today points to the fact that history may be about to repeat itself possibly in early 2022.

The buy-to-let fraternity, as well as folks who look well off driving large 4x4s on monthly contracts, will be seriously re-jigging their outgoings and refraining from using their maxed out credit cards.

I firmly believe that a re-balancing of the economy or a serious financial crash is on the horizon.

Ken Walsh, Tunstall, Richmond.

Car domination

ARE we becoming dominated by cars? Climate change is looming, it is our greatest threat. The car should be enemy number one.

Yet in our street and probably yours, the car is everywhere. The little greenery that we have is being gradually submerged or shredded by the latest models. Some of us appreciate the green of grass more than the gleam of glossy paint jobs.

There is never a moment when there is not a car parked up on the verge and that alone is unsightly and an obvious degradation of the environment.

There will never be daisies there or bees. It will never give off oxygen, only fumes.

Maybe the fight against climate change is too little and too late, but driving out the cars will be a good start.

Chris Pattison, Richmond.

Green dream

EVERYTHING is to be powered by electricity, this revolution is now the topic of virtually everyday news.

The climate change activists must be absolutely on cloud nine and wondering how they can cause further disruption,

Let's start with the obvious, electrically powered cars, which at the moment boast up to 300 miles per charge, many struggling to do even 200 miles, with numerous extras to power such as lights, heaters, heated screens, air con, wipers, and radio.

Also, there are between 30 and 40 million private cars on the roads. Add to these the unknown number of delivery vans.

Every journey must be planned ahead to within a few miles as a recent change in the law earns three points on your licence for running out of power or fuel on the motorway.

Turning to industry, already countless thousands of electric forklift trucks are in use, and add to these the diesel powered ones to be replaced, plus dumpers and excavators, all of which need recharging two to three times a day depending on hours worked.

Then there is the incalculable number of the nation’s houses to be converted to all electric.

How can vehicles be charged overnight by the residents of terraced houses and in villages? Possibly the arguments and unrest brought about by wrongful parking, and the tripping over of charging cables will bring many compensation claims. The tales of woe will be endless.

Can anyone please tell us where on earth this vast amount of extra power is to come from?

It takes in the region of ten years to bring a nuclear power station on line, plus the planning time.

I feel just a little bit selfish being in my 76th year that I should not let it bother me too much. My only concern is for the younger generation having to put up with this nightmare being heaped upon them when it may make little, if any, significant difference worldwide.

Trevor Mason, Swainby.