CONGRATULATIONS to Hambleton District Council, and the joint development company, for the completion of phase one of the former Northallerton prison site, Treadmills, and the opening of Lidl and Iceland stores.

This development, together with improvements to Zetland Street and the private development of Regency Mews (formerly Romanby Court) has greatly enhanced this area of central Northallerton.

Also for commissioning and commencing building a local crematorium facility, albeit in a rather remote and far from centralised location on the south western outskirts of the district near Skipton-on-Swale.

The success of this venture will depend on sincere, user-friendly management and staff and competitive pricing.

However, yet again, disappointment that the north Northallerton relief road and the bridge linking Darlington Road and Stokesley Road, originally scheduled for completion by Spring 2019, then by Autumn 2020, is still nowhere near completion in 2021.

This project has become an absolute shambles of incompetence and bad management by the council. Perhaps it should have been handled by the central Northallerton joint development company?

A planning application for a large business park on land opposite the new housing on the north Northallerton development will not be welcome news for those who purchased houses here.

A school, doctors surgery and amenity shops were proposed with the original plans. Unfortunately, the council has an unhappy record of regularly amending plans by reducing social housing commitments and social amenities et al.

Roads and gardens at the Stokesley Road end of this development were flooded when storm Christop struck and at Water End, Brompton, the beck rose dangerously high and roads were closed with diversions necessary.

Not a good advertisement for those contemplating buying a property here!

The growing number of vacant commercial properties on Northallerton High Street, unfortunately following the national trend, is a cause for concern and it is to be hoped that any government grants for multi-purpose development of joint commercial/residential property will be effectively used by council.

Perhaps by the end of 2021 we see the end of Covid, the completion of all current developments, a long overdue workable traffic management and flood prevention scheme in Northallerton.

Wishful thinking perhaps?

N Smith, Brompton, Northallerton.