New Dog Bin
The parish councl has used money from the precept to purchase and install another dog waste bin in the village. It is situated at the junction of Littlethorpe Road and Canal Lane.
The bench in memory of Roly Curtis has been installed in the village hall grounds. Woodberry of Leamington Spa made it and are the same firm that made the bench in the garden of remembrance at St. Michael's Church. It was this that led the parish council to choose them because of the excellent quality. The owls etched on the bench were drawn by Richard Tite. The next stage is to decide whether to have gravel or slate on the base. The parish council would like to thank everyone who contributed.
Parish Council Minute Books
John Edmonstone has been busy producing edited-down versions of two Littlethorpe Parish Council minute books, 1914-1938 and 1974-1998, both of which can be downloaded below.
Parish councillors, Gerry Spoors, Jackie Laugher and Chris Winterburn have been busy planting bulbs around the village hall. This year, Harrogate Borough Council provided them with snowdrops.
New Stone Plaque
Thanks to Littlethorpe Parish Council, a stone plaque has been placed on the outer wall of the village pinfold explaining the significance of the boundary stone which was placed inside the pinfold in 2018.
Parish Boundary Marker Stone
Ripon City Quarry, which has been operated for a number of years by Aggregate Industries Limited (AIL) has come to the end of its working life. At some point during the years of extraction of gravel, AIL unearthed a large stone which had carved on one side the letter 'T' and on the other the letter 'G'. A local archaeologist was asked to have a look at it and he was of the opinion that the stone was a boundary stone marking the boundary of Thorpe and Givendale parishes (or townships). The quarry does border the two parish boundaries so this was a plausible explanation. The name 'Thorpe' as a parish or township hasn't existed for maybe 300 years and is now known as Littlethorpe.
The stone was put in storage but recently, as the quarry has come to the end of its natural life, when AIL has been clearing out its stores prior to demolishing its buildings, the stone has been 'unearthed' for a second time. AIL has kindly given the stone to Littlethorpe Parish and it has been placed in the Pinfold.
The photograph shows Adam Mathwig (Quarry Operations Manager for Aggregate Industries) in the middle, with his assistant Dave on his right, and Gerry Spoors, Chairman of Littlethorpe Parish Council, with the stone in the pinfold.
Traffic in Littlethorpe
As many local residents can testify, Littlethorpe is marked by many narrow lanes and sharp bends and car drivers frequently encounter large vehicles on these roads. Apart from causing obstruction to motorists, roadside verges are frequently ploughed-up by such vehicles. The vehicles are generally of two types – lorries and school buses.
Lorries: Concerned by the number of lorries using narrow lanes, the Parish Council approached both North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards and North Yorkshire Police on this issue. Both have the power to enforce weight limits (which are posted on roads leading into Littlethorpe) – but not the responsibility so they can choose what to do within their resources. NYCC Trading Standards view is that enforcement of weight limits in Littlethorpe is impractical due to the nature, size of the area and the multiple entrances and exits. The matter can, however, be taken up by residents directly with the companies concerned provided that details of the vehicle, the time of day and particular company concerned can be established.
School buses: These are operated by contractors for NYCC and they have been advised by the County Council not to undertake any reversing manoeuvres when children are on board unless it is absolutely necessary. The safety of the schoolchildren is the paramount concern. If reversing is unavoidable then the driver has to obtain assistance with guiding the vehicle backwards where possible. Any such reversing manoeuvre will only be attempted provided that the bus driver is satisfied that it is safe to do so. In general, children are not allowed to disembark the bus unless it is at an allocated drop off or collection stop. The only time that children would otherwise be allowed to disembark would be if there was an emergency and it was absolutely necessary for them to do so.
Cyclists: There will naturally be an increase in bicycle traffic therefore drivers should be aware of the increasing frequency of bicycles and also the number of groups of cyclists using more of the road. We want all road users and pedestrians to be safe on our roads.
Harrogate District Local Plan
Harrogate Borough Council have now produced their draft District Local Plan.
The following areas have been designated in the draft Plan as being “developable” for housing in Littlethorpe:
• Within 5 years: Grange Farm site, Littlethorpe Road – 6 houses
• Within 6 to 10 years: Orchard Lane to Littlethorpe Lane – 56 houses
Railway View – 21 houses
Little Crossing – 5 houses
This is a total of a further 88 properties within Littlethorpe village itself. Additionally, the proposed development at West Lane, which abuts Ripon but falls within Littlethorpe parish and for which a planning application is currently outstanding, has the following numbers of houses as “deliverable” in the draft Plan:
• Within 5 years: 60 houses
• Within 6 to 10 years: 150 houses
• Within 11 to 15 years: 150 houses
• Within 16-20 years: 70 houses
Therefore, on this site alone there would ultimately be a further 430 properties.
"The Parish Council is aware of concerns regarding the field use at Little Crossing and access to the old dismantled railway line. For clarification, the situation is as follows:
· Field: The land is owned by the Hield Trust and has been for over 20 years. After several historical complaints about the maintenance of it (damage to fences, overgrown, etc) the Trust recently decided to improve it and have now let the field to a village resident to keep horses in. At no time has there been an established right of way across this land, despite it being used informally by dog walkers for some years, without the Trust’s knowledge. Around 2010 the Trust sought and obtained a Section 31 Statutory Declaration to prevent the creation of a public right of way across this land. With this Section 31 designation in place the land cannot be used to establish a new right of way. Existing local rights of way include the footpath from Orchard Lane to Littlethorpe Lane and Mankin Lane, the latter being a public bridleway.
· Railway Line: Public rights of way do not include dismantled railway lines. North Yorkshire County Council’s maps of rights of way in this area quite specifically do not include the railway track. While NYCC seeks to preserve the route, given the possibility of reinstatement of the line from Harrogate to Ripon and Northallerton (something unlikely to happen in most people’s lifetime), the land itself belongs to local landowners and therefore anyone accessing it without permission is trespassing."