WHEN is 160 not enough? When you’re trying to fit more than 400 into it maybe.

The great parking nightmare of Northallerton has gone into overdrive as the row escalates over where hundreds of police officers and staff are going to put their vehicles when they move into the new town centre headquarters.

The revelation that the 160 on-site parking spaces will be kept for operational vehicles and senior officers only is indeed a “bombshell” as local councillor David Blades observed.

Just last month Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan insisted there were options and actions that could help on parking, but the reality seems to be there is no easy answer. Creating more car parks would be an answer, but where would that be? And who pays? And it seems unlikely staff would be prepared to fork out hard earned wages to go to work.

For public figures in Northallerton, it’s a tricky one. They want the jobs for the town and the spending power they bring.

After the loss of the RPA and the prison, landing a big fish like the police headquarters was a welcome boost. However it must be balanced against potential chaos on the streets and unhappy householders complaining about cars clogging up their residential streets. There have already been complaints from Newby Wiske, the current home of police headquarters, that associated vehicles are causing problems on the nearby roads - and there are many more parking spaces on that huge site than on the new Alverton Court HQ.

There is also the added worry that the police headquarters will be up and running round-the-clock for seven days a week.

Could that possibly be described as a constant headache?