Golf course row in dales: The week that was December 13 to 19, 1972

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VILLAGERS in the Yorkshire Dales National Park clashed again with planners over whether a golf course should be built near a famous attraction during this week in 1972.

The proposal to make part of a 400-acre farm into a nine-hole golf course were outlined at a public inquiry in Grassington.

The proposed scheme would be in “…one of the most vulnerable parts of the best-known dale in the National Park”, said John Dixon, deputy area planning officer, in supporting the refusal of planning permission for the course at Kilnsey, two miles outside Grassington.

It would be in the foreground of Kilnsey Crag – “one of the most spectacular natural features in the Park,” said Mr Dixon. The 80-acre site was proposed by Peter and Anthony Roberts, executors of their late father’s substantial land holdings in the Dale.

Peter Roberts told the inquiry that two golf course firms had made a study of the site and concluded that few alterations to the landscape would be necessary as only two of the nine greens would need earthworks.Supporters of the plan said it was impossible for golf lovers to join another club within 40-50 miles of Grassington.

Meanwhile, more than 300 British Thalidomide victims were offered a new compensation deal worth £11.85m over 10 years by the pharmaceutical arm of The Distillers’ Company.

The money was to be paid into a trust fund with an initial deposit of £3m for the 340 children born with physical deformities after the anti-nausea drug had been taken by their mothers. An offer of £5m had been rejected a few weeks previously. The new sum would more than double if placed in the fund at a rate of £500,000 per year.

The offer depended on the government passing legislation allowing the 10-year fund charitable trust tax status. However, the families again rejected the offer, demanding another £3.4m if the government agreed to the tax concession.

Leading Thalidomide campaigner and Labour MP Jack Ashley said the company was acting “as a Scrooge in the guise of Santa Claus”.

A year later the 11-year battle over Thalidomide ended with a £20m court settlement.

A report by an independent research organisation criticised the extent to which the NHS had come to rely on nurses from abroad, while at the same not necessarily treating them well.

Around one in five nurses and one in three entering nurse training was born overseas, said the Independent Political and Economic Planning Research Institute. It said the authorities in this country decided where nurses would be placed after arrival, often in hospitals and on courses they would not choose.

They were also given training which would have no value in their home country, little English tuition was offered, and they were in danger of becoming “an introverted, isolated group”.

Half of Britain’s oil requirements would be met from the North Sea by 1980, said Christopher Chataway, Minister for Industrial Development.

Oil imports in 1971 cost about £1,000m, he said, adding that British Petroleum’s discovery of natural gas in the southern part of the North Sea seven years previously heralded an immense new national asset.

In 1980 the Exchequer would receive around £100m revenue in rent and royalty payments alone.

Manchester United manager Frank O’Farrell confirmed this week that the club had received two “firm offers” for George Best – from Malcolm Allison’s Manchester City and Bournemouth.