HOPES of making any immediate progress on plans for a permanent skateboard park at Northallerton receded yesterday.

The Hambleton District Council cabinet rejected another request from the town council for a sub-lease to be granted on a site at Bullamoor playing fields and agreed instead that temporary arrangements in the Applegarth car park should continue.

The community education service will be asked to call another meeting of interested parties, including skateboarders, youth leaders, police and members and officers of local councils, to try to identify the best possible site.

At present, skateboarders can use part of the Applegarth car park after 6pm but Coun David Blades told the cabinet that some were drifting back to unofficial sites like a nearby school playground.

Councillors agreed with his suggestion that Hambleton should investigate the possibility of erecting an official notice saying skateboarders have permission to be in the Applegarth. Officers will report back on whether this will have insurance implications for the council.

The town council made a second attempt at securing a sub-lease on Bullamoor playing fields after members rejected a suggestion in September that the bonfire site in the Applegarth should be used for skateboarding.

This land is believed to be held in trust by the town council specifically for young people, and at a meeting of interested parties in July it was agreed that the principle of using it for skateboarding should be considered.

But Mr Dave Goodwin, head of tourism and leisure, said the Bullamoor site was unsuitable because there had been objections from local people and the community safety partnership had concerns. The optimum site for about 60 skateboarders whose views had been sought would be somewhere in the Applegarth.

He said: "There is general consensus that there is a need for such a facility to serve the Northallerton area.

"The custodians of the best possible site are unwilling to allow it to be used for such a purpose and an alternative site put forward appears not to meet certain criteria.

"Meanwhile, young people of the town are becoming frustrated at the lack of action.