The Boroughbridge Mayor’s column with Peter Phillips

The proposed Sugar Beet Factory could affect the setting of Allerton Castle.
The proposed Sugar Beet Factory could affect the setting of Allerton Castle.

Well it has been a busy week with surrounding developments in the area being the main focus of attention. During Tuesday’s council meeting we welcomed Gareth Owen to our planning meeting where he gave a good concise presentation of the latest development plans for the motorway services just North West of Kirby Hill.

The latest changes included further moving eastwards of the A168 to accommodate a large construction site for the development and a staff access point on the Ripon road. Our response as a consultee to this application was to reject it on several grounds.

Unfortunately there was a public meeting in Marton Cum Grafton to hear about proposals for the sugar beet factory at Allerton Park on the same night as our council meeting. However, following our planning meeting, Sean Hynes hurried along to Marton Cum Grafton to attend the meeting on the town council’s behalf.

Once again our council is giving support to the rejection of this proposal.

The traffic movements alone will have a great impact on Boroughbridge.

For further information and online petition details www.stopthebeetfactory.

Here are some of the details on the proposed sugar beet factory that will have an affect on the Boroughbridge community – taken from the recent meeting:

If the plant is built in the proposed location it will:

l Cover 161 acres (130 football pitches).

l Operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, resulting in 3,400 two way lorry trips per day, causing diesel pollution and traffic chaos all along the A59, A168 and as far as the York ring road.

l Result in a potential sickly sweet smell affecting a wide area with the additional risk of a ‘bad eggs’ smell from poisonous hydrogen sulphide produced by the cleaning process.

l Include four silos, each silo is taller than York Minster and twice the width of its front elevation.

l Affect land that provides habitat for wetland birds, wild flower meadows and nearby otters.

l Affect the setting of Allerton Castle and nearby conservation areas, having a negative impact on tourism employment.

l Be highly visible from Sutton Bank, Harrogate District and beyond, spoiling countryside views.

I make no apologies for mentioning these items again as they will impact greatly on our community. I can also reassure people that our council is doing all it can to support our neighbouring parishes.

People power is important, social media comments do not count as objections. You need to use your voice on the advertised websites or the Harrogate Planning public access portal. I am sure these items will not quickly be resolved or go away.

Moving on, we had a packed agenda for our following council meeting which started with two concerned residents being given time to speak with regards to their concerns about antisocial behaviour in the Tutt Woodland. The council agreed to work together to find a solution.

Other items on the agenda include looking at ways in which we can work closer with our Chamber of Trade to improve our web directory information in promoting the town. The council agreed to write to the commanding officer of 6th Regiment based at Dishforth to offer them the Freedom of the Town. This is provisionally planned for April next year.