A BID to build homes on the site of a scrapyard on the eastern edge of Leyburn will have to be decided by the Environment Secretary.

Richmondshire district councillors voted to stand by a decision made in the spring and to approve amended blueprints for 15 new properties at Harmby. The authority originally rejected the project in November, but had a change of heart in March when officers warned that the developer stood a good chance of winning on appeal if the revised designs were thrown out as well. The decision was still a departure from the authority's housing strategy, and therefore needed to be ratified on Tuesday. Even though councillors agreed to rubber-stamp the decision, the Secretary of State still has the final say. The application has been called in by the Department of the Environment and a public inquiry will be held in October or November this year.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Work on a new heating system at Richmond's Town Hall had to be halted when contractors discovered asbestos in the boiler room. Town clerk Peter Clarke told a town council meeting that the additional work involved would cost an extra £3,000.

COBBLER REQUIRED: Rich-mond is hoping to attract a new cobbler to fill the breach left when the town's only shoe repairer closed in the spring. Town councillors debated the idea of seeking a travelling service calling weekly, although the majority agreed a new business in one of the empty shops around the market place would be better.

SUPER SWEDES: Richmondshire Cricket Club welcomes fans of 1970s' group Abba on Saturday for an evening of nostalgia. Tribute band Abba Fever perform from 8pm, with prizes on offer to the best look-alikes in the audience. Tickets cost £8, or £7.50 for members, and are available on (01748) 824573.

DALES DATE: Richmond MP William Hague will open a new cloakroom extension at West Burton School, Wensleydale, tomorrow. He will tour the classroom and meet the school's 35 pupils, who he will present with commemorative bookmarks to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

CLOSURE ALERT: Drivers in the Northallerton area are being warned about the closure of a section of Crowfoot Lane, east of Danby Wiske, from its junction with Danby Lane to the A167 Darlington road. The closure will be in place from Monday to Friday, while road repairs are carried out.