Potential plans for a new town park in Northallerton have been so well received councillors are pressing local MP Rishi Sunak, council officers and fellow members for support.

Northallerton Town Council unveiled the images of how a park on the site of the playing fields of the former Grammar School could look at an eco fair in the town.

This week mayor councillor Phil Eames told town councillors there had been a lot of interest in the scheme.

A statement was issued by Northallerton town Council which said: "The council recently hosted a successful eco fair at the Town Hall. Amongst a wide ranging programme of discussions and presentations NTC showed an indicative layout for a new public park for Northallerton on the site of the former Grammar School site.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The image for the Grammar School Park Plan in Northallerton

“This attracted a great deal of positive support from members and residents. There were some comments around the details of access and entrance which can be addressed as the plan develops. Proposals from North Yorkshire County Council for a new special free school on the site were approved by the Department for Education in March 2023 as part of the government's special free school programme.

"The town council understands that DfE is currently selecting an approved provider and the council looks forward to further promoting the proposals for the site to incorporate a new public park as the provider, DfE and North Yorkshire Council develop the detailed layout of the school. The playing field was registered as an Asset of Community Value in December 2021, after an application by Northallerton Town Council."

Members were told the authority is writing to North Yorkshire Council officers, councillors and Mr Sunak to follow up on this.

Members agreed the new precept for the town next year would be £453,353 which would increase the council tax for an average Band D property by £23.25 a year, 45p a week. This compares with the precept for 2023/24 of £371,750 when the average Band D council tax for the town was £104.86 annually.

Mayor councillor Phil Eames said there had been things which had to be taken into consideration including maintenance costs for the ageing town hall building, contributions to the town centre, the public toilets, pay awards and events for residents.

Councillor Paul Atkins said they are still trying to find out what has happened to £500,000 in Community Infrastructure Levy cash which was due to have been paid by developers of the North Northallerton development towards new bus services for that area of the town.

He said: "We need to find out what has happened. It is ridiculous the amount of time we have been asking about this, it is a lot of money to lose if it has been lost."

Members were told enquiries were being made with North Yorkshire Council.