Land grab

The permanent destruction of yet more top-quality agricultural land is now front page news, with the approval of a £100m industrial estate off the A1(M) at Catterick “£100m industrial hub ‘will create 1,250 jobs’” (D&S Times, Jan 6).

According to Defra, agriculture provides around 75 per cent of the indigenous food consumed in this country.

Once the land for this is gone (and Richmondshire District Council is truly excelling itself with regard to the speed and area it is destroying), it is gone. The less agricultural land, the less food.

Once curlews, owls, hedgehogs, insects and many other species have been exterminated, there are gone. They have no viable habitats in industrial hubs.

Clearly, however, this is of neither consequence nor interest to the vast majority (it seems that just two residents spoke against the application at the meeting).

After all, according to Cllr Amsden: "It's no different to what's happening elsewhere in North Yorkshire."

In contrast, there are numerous objections to a single communications mast beside the Three Peaks route (D&S Times, Jan 6).

Since destroying the local environment is judged by the district council to be acceptable, moving on to quite how the local workforce will supply 1,250 jobs, in an area is said to have low local unemployment, and on top of the similar developments at Scotch Corner, is a mystery.

Unless employees travel in from outside the area. I can only presume that there will be no complaints, whatsoever, about the poor air quality and traffic congestion as a consequence of the development.

Richmondshire District Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019, and presumably developing green field sites such as this will work wonders for increasing carbon emissions when compared to their current levels.

Clearly Richmondshire believes itself to be exempt from the consequences of over-development and global warming.

Although the district council and its planning committee will vanish, as it will be merged into the new unitary structure, the future price to pay for their behaviour will not.

Susan Chipping, Catterick Garrison.

Read more: Catterick industrial hub ‘will see 1,250 jobs created’

Crossing points

THE recently opened North Moor Road, Northallerton, and its infamous bridge, has three pedestrian crossing points; two on the western side of the bridge and one on the eastern side where the foot/cycle path between Brompton and Northallerton crosses North Moor Road.

The western two are light controlled (Pelican?) crossings whereas the eastern one is not, although it does have the dubious benefit of a central reservation.

The western crossings are, presumably for the proposed primary school which could, at the very least, be 18 months away and the other for the proposed supermarket, the planning application for which has been withdrawn with, apparently, no alternative in the offing.

Conversely the eastern crossing has no lights, yet it is in constant use by cyclists, mobility scooter users, pupils heading to and from Northallerton School and Sixth Form College and other pedestrians, many of whom are parents with young children and pushchairs.

North Moor Road has daily increasing amounts of traffic, much of which travels at more than the speed limit of 30mph, and because of its proximity to the junction with Northallerton Road the crossing is becoming increasingly dangerous.

It seems bizarre, to say the least, that the very much more used crossing does not have lights whereas the two that are currently little used and unlikely to be so for at least 18 months, if not longer, do?

I and many others of my acquaintance would like to know the logic behind, what appears to be, a very illogical situation.

Robert Carter, Brompton, Northallerton.

Perpetual mystery

PLEASE can anyone shed any light on what happened to the machinery in Atkinson’s shop window in King Street in Richmond?

The jeweller’s shop had a perpetual motion machine which was powered by ball bearings and it was possible to tell the time by the number of balls in the slots.

I understand that when the shop closed down, the machine was taken to a museum.

It would be wonderful if anyone knows which museum as a friend would love to know.

Jen Capewell, Richmond.

Harry’s delusions

HARRY (of the Royal family – he doesn't warrant the title Prince) is under a complete illusion if he thinks “everyone knows where they were and what they were doing the night my mother died” (his words). He is so wrong!

I can't remember what I was doing as the comings and goings of the Royal family I do not memorise. I do remember the Friday in 1963 with the announcement of the assassination of President JF Kennedy and also what I was doing the day my mum died – I was visiting her.

The death however of Harry's mother was of very little significance to me as I didn't know her.

I also remember well the day I heard of the death of Elvis Presley (he wasn't perfect) and what I was doing.

After hearing of the death on a Wednesday breakfast time I went to work at British Rail Offices in Brinkburn Road, Darlington, and received many visits from work colleagues who visited me at my desk in Room 20.

Now that was a significant day but I was playing tennis in the evening.

Harry may come good but at the present time is that, in my opinion, he is a fool.

In broadcasting his killings in Afghanistan he is inviting reprisals against himself, his immediate family and organisations he is associated with.

They will now be forever looking over their shoulders. What does surprise me, although it shouldn't, is the amount of media attention Harry is receiving.

I will not be buying his book but hope the proceeds of sales will be going to British charities.

Finally, I am a supporter of the Royal Family especially King Charles and those others who are prepared to toe the line.

Mike Taylor, Darlington.

Royal soap opera

ABOUT 15 years ago myself and my better half stopped watching soap operas because the story lines were becoming too far-fetched.

Until last week I watched the news every morning only to find it had been replaced with another soap.

I, of course, refer to the latest goings on in the Royal Family.

When there is so much going on in the world that affects normal everyday people surely it is time for these over privileged people to be removed from our news programmes.

They themselves are the greatest advertisement for a Republic.

Peter Curtis, Darlington.

Lack of stability

FROM all the news surrounding the Royal Family it appears to me that the media are determined to drive a final nail into the coffin of the Royal Family using Harry as the hammer to do so.

I won’t read any of the alleged salacious stories but if true why has Harry turned such a turncoat.

I believe he has been influenced by the Hollywood “celebrity set” who most of the time don’t live in the real world.

I can’t see Harry receiving wise advice from Meghan or from anyone now he is removed from where he might have received it.

I also believe that Harry is the most flawed member of the Royal Family.

Why are the media so intent on destroying or attempting to destroy the Royal Family? I can’t answer that but I was always aware that once Queen Elizabeth died there would not be the stability there always was, under her.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.

Convalescent homes

SURELY the problem with ambulance handovers lies with the problem of there being no beds available.

Why do we no longer have convalescent homes, so that patients can be moved out of beds they no longer need?

Disused hotels and guest houses no longer needed could be taken over, this would surely help relieve the problem.

They could probably be manned by semi-retired nurses and other nursing staff. The way forward is convalescent homes.

M Carter, Redcar.


IT is a common view that net migration should be welcomed as offsetting our sub-replacement-level fertility rate.

This view depends upon two assumptions: that a gradual reduction in the population of Britain is undesirable and that the replacement of its longest-established ethnic group is not.

I accept neither of these, but if one truly believes the second then the notion of simply topping-up the population through migration would seem pedestrian.

We as a country drew in half a million extra people over the last year, while nominally seeking to keep that figure below 100,000.

It is doubtless within our capability to attract well over three quarters of a million more people each year: enough to offset a fertility rate of zero. Given this availability of people who are already grown and qualified, why do we still involve ourselves with the inordinately expensive business of raising and educating children?

Of course, many people want children of their own, while others may simply be careless or unlucky. But that does not explain our acquiescence in funding other people’s children via taxation.

John Riseley, Harrogate.

Sound effects

OVER the festive season, we’ve had more film repeats than ever on TV.

But I did enjoy Tom Hanks as the castaway on a desert island because there wasn’t any music.

So, with only the sounds of silence of nature we were more able to sense the isolation and stark reality of trying to survive with none of the resources we take for granted.

Whereas the innumerable Bond films with their blitzkrieg of noise and a superhuman espionage agent was less believable than Harry Potter.

Roger Moore as The Saint was more believable than the Bond books, but Tinker Tailor etc. with George Smiley gave the grim reality of espionage.

C Davison, Billingham.

Noisy fireworks

IT'S very distressing to hear about the many stories of animals having suffered and died after the New Year’s fireworks.

Surely it’s time for Darlington Borough Council to be first to move forward to ban sales of these outdated, loud fireworks. Only the quieter fireworks should be allowed for sale.

Stan Wilby, Darlington.