HISTORIC market towns are in abundance throughout our region, but without protection they could easily lose their special character to insensitive development.

Thankfully, most have town councils, civic societies and other conservation trusts which work to maintain the beauty and heritage of these centres to ensure they stay a special place to live, work and visit.

Richmond Town Council has been working hard to ensure a supermarket redevelopment in the town does not become an eyesore, and continues to complement the townscape by using natural materials and plenty of landscaping to mask it from view.

Lidl has confirmed it intends to open its new store by the end of 2017, and although it has not yet submitted public plans, the town council has been privy to its initial working proposal and has raised several concerns to the international chain.

The protection of the character of a town is one of the main objectives of a local council, and although they often don’t have the power of a higher authority to veto plans which could be damaging to its heritage, it is heartening to see Richmond Town Council put its weight behind what it believes is the right thing for the town.

In the Northallerton, Romanby and Brompton areas, moves are being made by planning bosses to safeguard green corridors which are important to local communities.

Independent environmental specialists have put forward the recommendations for the new Hambleton District Council local plan, which will control development up to 2035.

It is hoped that protecting the green spaces will help ensure the character of the area is maintained for the future