North Yorkshire Local Access Forum


1 June 2022


District Council and Updates from Sub-Groups


Report of the Secretary







Purpose of the Report


An opportunity for LAF members to update the Forum on District Council liaison and other LAF representative project activity since the last meeting.



2.0    Background


2.1    The LAF operates an agreed list of nominated representatives willing to act as the first point of liaison with the constituent District Councils in relation to planning and other relevant matters. Individual LAF members are also nominated from time to time to take a lead on specific projects that the LAF has an interest in or in representing the LAF on other partnership bodies.  Both are represented in the table below:




Will Scarlett

Craven District

Rachel Connelly

Hambleton District

Richmondshire District


Roma Haigh

Ryedale District 


Paul Sherwood

Regional Access Forum


County Councillor David Jeffels

Scarborough District

Regional Access Forum


Dick Brew

NYCC Countryside Access Service User Group


David Lepper

Protected Landscapes




Harrogate District



 2.2   This agenda item provides an opportunity for the Forum to be updated on activity since the previous meeting.



3.0    District Council Liaison


3.1    The following updates have been provided by Rachel Connolly:


A1 upgrade: promises made 3 years ago to rectify problems and safety issues still not addressed by either NYCC or National Highways (previously Highways England).  Very disappointing due to a lack of drive and sense of obligation from both parties. Communication a struggle and no-one accountable.


Catterick Garrison: The Masterplan envisaged for this summer has been shelved as the MOD is not going to expand the garrison as expected so development is being included in the Richmond Plan rather than as a separate entity.  Richmond’s Local Plan, to which we responded to the draft revision last year, will be circulated for final comment shortly and is likely to given weight by next spring which may be before the final Local Plan is adopted.  At the moment, Richmond is using a plan 10 years old which does not match the guidance of the National Planning Policy Framework (2021) in some respects, particularly that of access.


Hambleton are working a hybrid system and proving helpful and efficient. Few referrals at the moment as all applications in the Tees Valley catchment area are on hold due to serious nitrate run-off levels.  A general problem, they suggest, is a lack of joined up thinking between their Council and NYCC where projects are multi-interfaced.  A good example of this is the failure to implement a cycling link between Leeming/Aiskew/Bedale to serve the massive (700) or so houses springing up in this rapidly developing area.  The ground is there, the plans by Sustrans were there, the funding is there, Hambleton want it, Bedale would like it, but NYCC have not progressed it. No one can say why not or who is responsible.  Frustrating and doesn’t comply with LTP4, government advice to seize the opportunities for sustainable travel and planning policy.  I have raised the lack of cycling parking in the centre of Northallerton and the fact that North Northallerton ‘village’ (1000 houses) was planned to provide a cycling facility on its pavements, but there are no indications for this provision.


Richmond:  consultation continues to stem from applications flagged up for me to check or from the weekly list of applications circulated to all consultees.  However, staff are working from home; no phone calls are taken, messages that promise to call back in 5 working days don’t happen.  Emails sometimes elicit a reply. Unsatisfactory.


In the case of Richmond in particular, and possibly in NYCC, I get the feeling that their requirement as a sec 94(4) body to give ‘due regard’ to Forum advice is not taken seriously, and I quote from The Essential Guide to the Public Sector Equality Duty.  Having due regard is not a matter of box ticking.  The duty must be exercised in substance, with rigour and with an open mind in such a way that it influences the final decision. This means that when that a sec 94 body does not take our advice, they should be prepared to justify their decision, and when seemingly perverse decisions are taken, the Forum should be robust in exercising this request for feedback.  Our remit requires us to be proactive as well as constructive, inclusive etc.


3.2    In regard to the recently received invitation for a member of NYLAF to take part in a forthcoming North Yorkshire Rural Task Force external challenge session, Will Scarlett has offered to participate on the Forum’s behalf.


4.0    Other Updates


4.1    Nominated representatives are invited to report verbally on any other activity undertaken since the last meeting.






That members: 

i)     Note the updates;

ii)    Agree any further actions required

iii)   Agree to Will Scarlett to represent NYLAF at the North Yorkshire Rural Task Force external challenge session




Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services)


County Hall


Report Author: Melanie Carr, Secretary to North Yorkshire Local Access Forum