Holiday lodges: “Hotel granted permission for lodges” was the title of an article in the D&S Times (Oct 6).

Apart from the fact that there was local opposition to the planning application for the holiday lodges close to Aysgarth Falls, there is also a risk of contamination of both the falls and the River Ure further downstream from the proposed addition of hot tubs.

Local anglers have already been expressing their dismay about the state of the river because of sewerage plant discharges and agricultural fertiliser run off from fields adjacent to the river.


The numbers of fish have been greatly depleted because of contamination and now the risk of foul water discharged from the planned hot tubs on the holiday lodge site will make the situation even more serious.

Read more: Aysgarth Falls Hotel development given planning approval

It is well known that our rivers and countryside are already suffering from ecological disaster and it seems beyond belief that the Yorkshire Dales National Park Planning Authority would grant permission for this application.

The holiday lodges are designed to attract more tourists to our beautiful Wensleydale, but the likely increase in water pollution will destroy the environment that they come to visit.

I urge all who love this dale to rise up in condemnation of the potential damage to the River Ure.

Helen Robson, Harmby, Leyburn.

Rail questions

I CONTINUE to be mystified by newspaper articles and editorials claiming "HS2 is gone".

HS2 has not gone. Nor does anyone know what this new railway is going to finally cost.

In the Scottish Borders re-laying the Waverley Line cost £4m per mile. Building HS2 has so far cost £403m per mile and the costs are still going up.

We need a clear understanding of why (many) alternatives like re-opening former lines such as the Grand Central Railway were rejected by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Norman Baker.

I refer you to series three, episode four of Rob Bell's excellent series "Walking Britain's Lost Railways" for further details.

This was just one of many pre-existing stretches of track bed which might have been utilised instead of building HS2.

I hope Rachel Reeves' "enquiry into HS2" is wide ranging enough and deals with these detailed questions.

Nigel Boddy, Darlington.

Out of ideas

RISHI SUNAK’S speech to his party conference was proof that the Conservatives are out of touch and out of ideas.

He had nothing new to say about the most pressing issues facing people in his own constituency and nationwide.

Nothing to tackle soaring mortgages and rents, rising household bills, the ambulance crisis, the NHS dentist shortage, sewage dumping in our rivers or crumbling concrete in our schools.

Mr Sunak is behaving like he’s not going to be living with the consequences of his own decisions.

It’s no secret that the Tories are on course to lose the next General Election, and when they’re kicked out of government, I have a feeling Rishi won’t be sticking around.

He was parachuted in, and he’ll be airlifted back out.

And when that does happen, what about those of us left here to pick up the pieces?

Who will be around to help repair the damage the Tory party has done to our services, small businesses and our natural environment?

Families in this constituency deserve an MP who’s truly in it for the long haul, and the sooner we have a General Election, the better.

Daniel Callaghan, Liberal Democrat PPC, Middleton Tyas.

We don’t need oil

WE write in response to Peter Rickaby, who writes that we need the oil from the recently approved Rosebank field, “We need oil” (D&S Times letters, Oct 6).

The approval of this field is in direct contradiction to the net zero aspirations of the Conservative Government and this country.

Indeed the commitment to the net zero targets were enshrined in the 2019 Conservative manifesto.

Rosebank is a small field when judged by global standards and is expected to produce 69,000 barrels per day.

This represents only eight per cent of the UK’s daily requirements.

It also vanishes into insignificance when compared to the amounts produced by the top oil-producing countries, the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In July these three countries alone produced 31.3 million barrels per day.

What difference to our energy security is 69,000 barrels going to make?

None, as the oil will be taken by tanker from the oilfield for sale on the global market and at the global price.

So, it makes no difference to the price we pay for petrol and gas or UK energy security.

If we continue to rely upon oil and gas as this Government seems determined, we will continue to shiver in winter when prices are high.

The Rosebank field is owned by two companies. Equinor (Norwegian) owns 80 per cent and Ithaca Energy (British) owns 20 per cent.

Much of the financial benefits from the field will go to Norway and not to the UK.

It is also expected that the owners will benefit from around than £3.7bn in tax breaks.

It is reasonable to ask whether this money should not be allocated to companies developing renewable energy and storage in this country.

We should also be working towards better insulation for people’s homes so that they don’t have to shiver in winter.

Increased renewable energy and improved insulation directly reduce the UK’s dependence on gas and reduce all our energy bills.

Finally, CO2 emissions from the Rosebank field will amount to 200 million tonnes.

This is more than the total annual emissions of the 28 lowest income countries.

The consequence to the planet of CO2 emissions can be seen from the increasing extreme weather events, drought and rainfall, melting glaciers and ice sheets, ever increasing wildfires and sea level rise.

We should take the advice of the International Energy Agency who clearly state that no new oil and gas fields are developed.

Bridget Holmstrom, for Climate Action Stokesley and Villages.

Gaza conflict

GAZA has been described as the “largest open-air prison in the world” by Human Rights Watch.

Politicians are talking about standing firmly behind Israel and that Israel has a right to defend itself, but no one considers the Palestinians (mainly Arabs and a few Christians and Jews) who originally lived happily in Palestine for hundreds of years before they were uprooted after the Balfour Declaration was put forward a hundred years ago by Britain.

The Palestinians were not asked if the setting up of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would answer their concerns – these were imposed on them.

In all conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel has decisively won and the conditions that the Palestinians live under have decreased.

We have qualified engineers and scientists that design and can send rockets billions of miles to collect space rocks but our politicians are unable to sit down and solve the Palestinian-Israel problem.

If we follow current thinking of standing resolutely behind Israel, the only conclusion will be the annihilation of all Palestinians.

Brian Tyldesley, Middleham.

Caution needed

AS I write, Israel has not yet carried out its operation to invade Gaza but confirmed that it intends to do so.

The actions of Hamas are absolutely beyond belief, but the proposed revenge by Israel is not much different and one thing is certain, a new generation of terrorists will be born and so the long existing conflict will go on, as will the annexation of Palestinian land on the West Bank.

How can there ever be a peaceful solution to this terrible state of affairs without a change of attitude on both sides?

If Israel carries out its threat to invade Gaza then the conflict is likely to spread to other areas around Israel and what does our pledge of support mean in that situation?

Are we able to supply arms to both Israel and Ukraine, and will British citizens be paying the cost of largely-Israeli intransigence?

One final thought, Vladimir Putin will probably be delighted, especially if arms intended for Ukraine are sent to Israel.

Perhaps our Prime Minister and opposition leader should give it a little more thought before following the visibly-ageing US president.

"What you hate for yourself and your family do not do to your neighbour," said Rabbi Hillel.

David Law, Melmerby.

Elderly being failed

FOLLOWING the Covid outbreak, more and more people have turned to virtual online meetings with video chats.

This works okay in a business, office or for family chats, but I don’t think it’s the correct approach with doctors and consultations.

That’s particularly the case with elderly patients or people with little or no online aptitude.

Two of my neighbours have restricted hearing and consequently problems with telephone conversations.

One recently received a letter from a consultant stating he would phone for a conversation regarding his recent operation.

It’s just not good enough. Surely people with hearing difficulties or lack of internet knowledge should be offered a face to face appointment?

Let computer-savvy individuals use the online path and allow the old and computer illiterate the dignity of a face to face meeting.

DM Deamer, York.

Jab eligibility

THERE’S currently a lot of publicity about shingles, advising that as it particularly affects the older population, those who are eligible for a shingles vaccination should get one straight away.

The rules have recently changed making those people who turned 65 from September 1 eligible for vaccination whereas people previously had to be over 70 years old.

But this new rule makes no sense for it still excludes those people who turned 65 prior to September 1 but are not yet 70.

So someone who turned 65 just one day earlier still has to wait until the age of 70 before being eligible for the shingles vaccine. Why?

Who came up with such a daft change, meaning that someone who becomes 65 in September can get the vaccine straight away whereas for example someone whose birthday was in August has to wait five years.

Let’s hope that this person doesn’t get shingles in the next five years!

Ian Thompson, Spennymoor.

Traffic solution

AFTER hearing about the fears of businesses regarding traffic changes to Coniscliffe Road in Darlington, there is an easy solution for both shopkeepers and planners.

Simply change the direction of traffic in Northumberland Street. Obviously, it will be a tight right turn for larger vehicles from Grange Road, but how often do large vehicles need access in comparison with cars?

This will mean those not finding a parking space at places like Thomas Watson’s auction house would simply do a small left circuit.

The pedestrianisation of Coniscliffe Road would then be of little or no consequence to the businesses in Northumberland Street.

Also, the entrance to the car park in Northumberland Street would not be straight off the junction with West Street and so would be safer.

BE Baines, Darlington.