HIGHWAYS chiefs have been urged to hold back from selling a Dales depot until they can find an alternative site to store salt for road gritting.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is negotiating with North Yorkshire County Council over the future of the base, in Bainbridge, Wensleydale.

The national park authority is hoping to move out of nearby Yorebridge House and redevelop the depot as its new northern office.

But not everyone has welcomed the idea. Residents are worried that roads will not be gritted in winter if the county council's highways team moves to a new depot.

"If we let the building go, we could also be putting the future of the High Hall residential home at risk,'' said Councillor Yvonne Peacock.

"It is likely the business will need to expand in future and this land may be required or we may need room to build affordable housing. The future of the depot is important to Bainbridge," she said.

North Yorkshire County Council's Richmondshire area committee was told the highways depot has a limited use and a sale is considered the most prudent option.

However, highways officers have agreed a deal will not be signed until the council has found an alternative store for the salt somewhere around Bainbridge or Hawes.