Question marks over plans for rural police HQ

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From: Paul Alexander, South Kilvington, Thirsk.

THERE has been recent coverage in the Yorkshire Post regarding the proposals put forward by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner to relocate the police administrative headquarters onto a greenfield site, which is outside the permitted development area.

This would appear to be somewhat contrary to the Hambleton District Council agreed future development plan.

It was later identified that the site was not only the administrative building but also an operational police base replacing the police office and custody suite in Northallerton, nine miles away. The whole complex has an expected staff level of over 500 personnel.

There appears to have been some level of subterfuge in just how far this preliminary work has commenced. The village residents, 220, were informed last December of the intentions and yet it is quite clear design work has been going on behind the scenes since last March.

This raises the question of exactly what prior notice Hambleton District Council 
had, as it appears people who have very recently purchased property in the village had no indication of future developments when searches were carried out.

Neither the commissioner’s office or the police have been willing to communicate any meaningful discussion with concerned residents and for 
the past six weeks have prevaricated by saying 
everything would be disclosed at a public drop-in session 
in the village on February 18.

The event was attended by a considerable number of local residents and people from adjacent villages having 
children using the village school, in which hardly any information was disclosed by the commissioner (not in attendance) or the police.

An “exit poll” showed 93 per cent against the development.