Most viewed November: Colburn hostel gets £90K makeover

Shona Hastings, warden for the hostel

Shona Hastings, warden for the hostel

The district council owned George Nickling House, which gives homeless people temporary accommodation while they are waiting for permanent accommodation in the Richmondshire area, is getting a revamp.

The 16 bedroomed hostel – which was built in 1993 – is currently made up of a communal facility with shared lounge, kitchen and several bathrooms. But thanks to a £50,000 grant from the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant Fund and £40,000 from the Council’s own resources the unit is being modernised and re-modelled.

The current bedrooms will be converted into self-contained units with en-suite facilities, windows and external doors will be replaced with double glazed units, solar panels will be installed and the playground will be extended and re-vamped.

In a press release issued today, Councillor Peter Wood, member for housing said: “Richmondshire District Council is proud of the Housing Options service we provide and continue to strive to develop this facility.

“This grant gives us the opportunity to re-educate and re-brand George Nickling House – and steer away from the stigma attached to residing in a homeless person’s hostel.”

Most viewed in October: Two Richmond burglaries ‘could be linked’

Detectives are investigating two burglaries in Richmond which they believe could be linked.

Two houses were broken into between 16 October and 21 October, one on Nicholas Drive, in Richmond, and the other on Colombus Way, in Brompton on Swale.

On both occasions, thieves broke the locks on the back door to gain entry to the properties.

A watch, a broken laptop and some old money were stolen during the burglaries.

Witnesses have reported seeing a white man, who was around 5ft 10in tall in the area at the time of the incidents. He was wearing a high-vis jacket and spoke with an Irish accent.

A blue Mercedes Sprinter van has also been seen in the area. The van has NG54 in its registration number.

Today officers have released an appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious in Richmond or Brompton on Swale around the time of the burglaries to get in touch – contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Northallerton CID.

If you prefer not to give your name, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Quote reference number 12140182043 or 12140182002 when passing information about these incidents.

Most viewed September: Richmond is ‘not an amazing market town to shop’

Richmond’s shopping experience has left one local shopper so disappointed they’ve taken to a local newspaper letters page in protest.

Taking Richmond Councillor Stuart Parsons to task over his recent praise of the town, Anthea Rawling from Scorton tells the Darlington and Stockton Times:

When I am shopping in Richmond I prefer to take my custom to the butchers and bakers that have served the residents of Richmond and the surrounding areas for years despite the high rents and business rates that they have to pay.

The only hotel of any size in the Market Place does not have a lift for use of any disabled person to get to the dining room or bedrooms. What use is that?

Such places as the castle, the museums, art galleries, the Georgian Theatre Royal do not help people who prefer to do their shopping while in the town, or should I say “this amazing town.”

Oh, another thought, there is not to the best of my knowledge an electrical/television supplier or a children’s clothing shop.

(While her opinion on the range of shops and accessibility of hotels is, of course her own view, we should point out that the letter writer is inaccurate on one point – Richmond does indeed have a shoe shop. Gerry’s opened on Castle Walk earlier this year as we reported.)

Regardless of that oversight, what do you think? Does she have a point about the quality of shopping now on offer? Have your say or cast a vote below.


Most viewed in August: Council slashes green bin collection price – for newcomers

In a press release this afternoon, the council has announced that it will half the price of the garden waste bin collections which were so unpopular when they were introduced earlier this year.

But it would seem the discount is only available to new subscribers and is being offered because so few people – less than half – took up the original offer. We’ve asked for clarification on that point and will update you with more information when we have it.

The announcement says:

Households in Richmondshire who haven’t yet subscribed to the garden waste collection service can now do so for half price!

Since the subscribed garden waste collection service was introduced in February 2014, 41% of households have subscribed to the scheme.

The price reduction means that the cost for one garden bin collected fortnightly until March 31, 2015 will now be just £8.50 with additional bins available at £6 each.

Garden waste collections will continue to be suspended over the winter from December to February.

To subscribe by phone, online or by post contact the council in the first instance on 01748 828777 who will give you an unique reference number or you can subscribe in person at Mercury House, Richmond or at one of the Community Offices in Colburn, Hawes, Leyburn or Reeth

If you do not wish to subscribe to the service, arrangements will be made to remove your garden bin during December – February, however if you wish to have it removed sooner please call 01748 828777.

Most viewed in July: For Sale: Comrades Club offered for £95k


The Comrades Club

The first floor of Richmond’s Comrades Club building is up for sale – with a price tag of £95,000.

The freehold for the 1,880 square foot function room and bar on Newbiggin has just gone on the market with Charlton’s. The advert says:

A substantial first floor licensed premises well positioned in an established trading location within Richmond market town centre, ideally suitable for a variety of alternative commercial uses or conversion, subject to relevant consents and warranting viewing to be appreciated.

Most viewed in May: Richmond Duck Race 2014 – share your pictures here


Getting your ducks to the line

Yes it’s time for the annual May Day duck race. Starting at 2pm on Monday 5 May from the bridge at The Green, it’s your chance to bet your shirt on one of the hundreds of little plastic ducks that will take on the challenge of The Swale.

And we want to see your pictures and videos from the big day. There’s a dedicated noticeboard right here where you can post your pictures (using Twitter or Facebook if you prefer).

We look forward to seeing your contributions and good luck to all who enter.

PS. The sights and sounds from last year’s Duck Race are on view here.

Most viewed in April: Fascinating British Pathe film of Richmond unearthed

This film from 1929 has just been released on YouTube. It shows Richmond’s 600th anniversary.

Originally the digital canister notes said “Richmond, Greater London”. But someone wrote in to British Pathe to say that this is Richmond in North Yorkshire, and that the reel shows the 600th anniversary of the granting of the Richmond market charter.

It shows people in smart dress walking in field. People dressed as Roman soldiers walk past followed by horse pulling a chariot. Women in white costumes (could be dressed as nuns) stand solemnly outside castle.

And see a man hacking lump of meet off large animal carcass.

Most viewed in March – Ruling against proposed 7 screen Catterick cinema ‘will set Richmondshire back by at least five years’ says council officer

The proposals for the seven screen cinema at Catterick Garrison is back before the planners on Tuesday night. And, for the second time, councillors are being advised to vote ‘yes’ or risk losing the opportunity for redevelopment.

Elected councillors on the planning committee failed to make a decision last month and instead deferred the plan for a month – something they can not repeatedly do as they are required by statute to deal with planning applications in a timely manner.

When they sit down at Mercury House this week, they will be told again by their officers with legal experience, that the application should go-ahead.

Before the vote last month, many councillors were lobbied by individuals and groups as part of a campaign against the proposals organised by The Station cinema which fears the competition.

But this month, those in support of the development have also had time to organise their counter argument with more than 1,000 already signing an online petition urging them to green light the scheme as they believe the town centre development with its 700 new jobs hangs in the balance.

More than 800 people have also cast a vote in our online poll, to date, the vast majority in favour of the scheme.

Summing up the situation, council officer Peter Featherstone says in his recommendation:

It has been made clear beyond any doubt that the proposed cinema is an integral anchor to delivery of the wider “Town Centre” development and binds together the other retail, leisure and restaurant elements. Although it was previously anticipated that a smaller cinema would form part of the “Town Centre” scheme, subsequent changes in circumstances that could not be foreseen mean that there is now no other way of bringing forward a cinema other than in this larger format and without this revised part of the scheme the key anchor occupiers for the “Town Centre” will be lost and the whole development will simply collapse.

That development is expected to generate up to 700 new full time equivalent jobs in addition to those that would arise during the construction phase. The development would also bring a range of other economic and sustainability benefits, both in its own right and to the wider Richmondshire area. If the “Town Centre” development did not go ahead, then it would set strategic growth for Richmondshire back by at least 5 years. This is an important material consideration to which very significant weight should be attached in determining the current application.

Whilst there are difficult and potentially conflicting issues and material considerations that have to be carefully taken into account and weighed In the balance in determining this application, the overall balance lies clearly in favour of supporting this scheme which would assist in fulfilling relevant policies of the Development Plan and accord with the National Planning Policy Framework.

You can read the full agenda, complete with the objections and support the council has received, below and catch up on all the twists and turns in our section dedicated to the cinema plans here.

Most viewed in Feb: The Station cinema calls for action against multiscreen plan

Management at The Station cinema are calling on people to object to proposals to develop a new seven screen cinema at Catterick.

On its website it urges people to write to the Richmondshire Dictrict Council planners before the deadline next Monday.

The posting claims the new development would be ‘a significant threat to the ongoing viability of The Station Cinema.’

As part of the work to develop the area around Tesco, a five screen cinema with 640 seats was proposed.  The Station Cinema was consulted about the plans last year, and although concerned, decided this extra provision was acceptable, as it offered more choice to cinema-goers in the area.

The developers have now submitted an amendment to their original plans, asking for permission to create seven screens, with a total of 848 seats.  That’s almost one third more than their original proposal.

But would a new cinema down the road actually impact on the The Station cinema or are they very different things? There’s been some chatter on social media platforms and, so far, the reaction seems to be split.

While some don’t welcome the proposal, others point out that the new cinema would be serving a different audience drawn from the military community and further afield.

What do you think?

Have your say in the comments or cast a vote.

Most viewed in Dec and Jan: The lights go out for Castle Walk

castlewalkThe floodlights which illuminate Richmond Castle and help keep one of the town’s best used pathways as a safe and pleasant place to be have now been switched off – and they’re likely to stay that way.

The lights have been lighting up the town’s main tourist attraction to dramatic effect but have now been vandalised to a point where the electricity supply has been isolated.

Not only does lack of lighting take away one of the town’s most impressive night views, but it also makes people walking around that area feel insecure, especially when, at this time of year, it is plunged into darkness around teatime.
The path and its seating areas are a well-known gathering point for youngsters and the amount of beer cans, bottles and other litter blowing down the bank towards the river has noticeably increased during the past couple of weeks – in fact, if it wasn’t for the actions of a couple of local residents prepared to brave the sharp drop and regularly collect rubbish, the scenic approach up to the Castle would now be awash with rubbish.

The lighting was originally provided with a grant from the now disbanded Richmond Swale Valley Community Initiative (RSVCI) in order to boost the economic potential of the town’s heritage.

But it seems the vandals will win the day. The upkeep of the pathway is the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council which has no plan to re-instate the lighting.

It is believed that just five of the lights would cost £25,000 to replace. Not only is there no budget but, without some sort of security in place to ensure they weren’t ripped out a second time, there’s no will to replace them either.

What do you think should be done? Have your say in the comments below and we’ll look into this some more in the new year.