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  1. Energy firm Drax abandons North Yorkshire gas plant plans

    PA Media

    Energy company Drax has abandoned plans to build Europe's biggest gas power plant in North Yorkshire, following strong opposition from environmental campaigners.

    Drax in 2013

    The company is to no longer install two gas turbines for electricity generation at the site near Selby.

    It marks a move away from fossil fuels and towards biomass for the power generator.

    Will Gardiner, the company's chief executive, says: "This builds on our decision to end commercial coal generation and the recent sale of our existing gas power stations."

    The plant's transformation away from coal started in 2003, when Drax began to burn biomass at the site, mixing it in with coal, which still made up 95% of the fuel.

    The company started to convert the coal burners to run on biomass alone in 2013 and it will phase out coal completely by March, ahead of the government's 2025 deadline.

    Planning approval for the two gas burners was given in 2019.

    Drax is now focusing on burning wood pellets to generate power at the site.

    However the technology has critics who question its benefits over other renewable technologies such as wind and solar.

  2. Woman attacked and dog threatened on York riverside

    A woman walking her dogs in York has been attacked by a man who also threatened to throw one of her animals in the river, police have said.

    York riverside path

    The assault happened at about 09:30 on Tuesday on the riverside path between Clifton Bridge on Water End (pictured) and St Peters Boat House, according to North Yorkshire Police.

    The 64-year-old woman, from York, was walking her dogs along the path when an unknown man grabbed one of her animals by its collar. He then pushed the victim to the ground.

    The suspect, who had a chocolate labrador with him, is described as white, in his mid-40s, with a rounded face, wearing glasses, a red bomber jacket, black jeans and a baseball cap.

    Anyone who saw what happened, or who has information about the attack, is being asked to contact North Yorkshire Police.

  3. Boy found unconscious in Helmsley street after attack

    A teenage boy was left seriously hurt and unconscious after being attacked in a North Yorkshire town, police have said.

    Police jacket

    The boy was found in Helmsley by two members of the public on the afternoon of Sunday 21 February and they helped him back home.

    The victim had suffered serious injuries to his face and needed medical treatment at hospital, according to North Yorkshire Police.

    Anyone who saw what happened, or who has information about the attack, is being asked to contact police who say they might have "vital" information which could help the inquiry.

    CCTV and mobile phone footage from Helmsley at around the time of the incident is also being sought by police.

  4. Yorkshire's Thursday weather forecast

    BBC Weather

    This morning will be dry with decent sunny spells.

    Broken cloud and a scattering of showers will develop this afternoon, but still with intermittent sunny spells. Still mild for the time of year.

    Dry and mostly clear tonight, allowing temperatures to drop away, making it much less mild compared to recent nights.

    Under the calm conditions, some mist and fog patches may develop in places:

    Weather forecast
  5. York Roman Quarter plans rejected

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Plans for a new Roman Quarter development in York have been turned down by councillors.

    Artist's impression of Roman Quarter plans

    The development was set to see a Roman visitor attraction, plus a 10-storey development of 211 apartments, offices and retail space, built in Rougier Street as well as a two-year archaeological dig on site.

    Developers had said the new visitor attraction examining York's Roman past could play a "key role" in the city's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

    York Archaelogical Trust had said the development could draw in up to 500,000 visitors and £20m to the city every year.

    However, councillors on the city's planning committee on Wednesday said they had worries about the size of the building, the impact on nearby landmarks, affordable housing and whether it could bring high quality jobs to the city.

    They voted by a majority to refuse the plans - largely on the grounds that the planned building was too large and would have an impact on nearby heritage sites.

    Councillor Mark Warters proposed refusing the plans, saying: “If we don’t protect the skyline, we’ll be responsible for turning York into Chicago. This could become one of York’s most hated buildings.”

    But Councillor James Barker said he was in favour of approving the plans, saying the building was now designed to be lower than those surrounding it and that council planning officers supported approval of the scheme.

    He said turning it down was likely to deter other developers from considering building in York.

    However, a total of 11 councillors voted to refuse the plans, three voted against refusal and one abstained.

  6. Almost £15,000 raised for burgled 100-year-old RAF veteran

    Just under £15,000 has so far been raised by a fundraising campaign for a 100-year-old war veteran who had thousands of pounds stolen from his home while having cancer treatment in hospital.

    Long Meadow in Skipton

    Former RAF pilot Len Parry, from Skipton, in North Yorkshire, was in hospital earlier this month when thieves took a safe containing almost £4,000 from his house, police said.

    A small brown digital safe about a cubic foot in size was taken from an address on Long Meadow (pictured above) at some point between 4 and 12 February, according to North Yorkshire Police.

    A journalist at the Yorkshire Post created an online fundraising campaign for Mr Parry and set a target of £3,000.

    That appeal has so far raised over £14,790.

    Anyone who has found the stolen safe, or knows its whereabouts, is also being asked to contact police.

  7. Calls for probe into use of Harrogate Nightingale hospital

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A leading North Yorkshire councillor has called for an inquiry into why the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate hasn't been used to treat coronavirus patients.

    Harrogate Nightingale Hospital

    Jim Clark, the chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, who is also a Harrogate councillor, has asked the West Yorkshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to support him in calls for a probe into why the 500-bed hospital hasn't been used to treat Covid patients.

    He's also asked whether the site, at Harrogate's convention centre, would have had enough NHS staff to be able to operate.

    Councillor Clark, who represents the Harrogate Harlow ward, said building the £27m hospital in just a matter of weeks last year was a “tremendous success”, but he questioned: “If we had needed it, could we have used it?

    “We need a public inquiry into why we have never used the Nightingale hospital,” he told the committee on Tuesday.

    The temporary hospital was opened by Capt Sir Tom Moore 10 months ago and a contract for its use is due to expire on 31 March.

    While the hospital has not treated any coronavirus patients, it has been used to carry out non-coronavirus diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments.

    Anthony Kealy, NHS England director in West Yorkshire, described the facility as a “really valuable resource” and said it was a “success” that it had not been used to treat Covid-19 patients.

    A decision on whether to pursue a public inquiry will be taken by the West Yorkshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee next month.

  8. 24/02/2021

    Video content

    Video caption: The latest news, sport and weather for the North East and Cumbria.
  9. North Yorkshire lockdown Covid fines hit new high - Police

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Last week saw the highest number of fines being issued in North Yorkshire so far during the current coronavirus lockdown, according to police.

    Lockdown sign

    A total of 192 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Covid regulations were issued, with 67 of them being issued in Scarborough alone, North Yorkshire Police said.

    Ch Insp Charlotte Bloxham told North Yorkshire's Local Resilience Forum: “It is really important we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves at the moment and through irresponsible actions jeopardise the progress we have been making."

    She added that the current lockdown restrictions will remain in place until 29 March "and we will continue to police them and take enforcement action against any breaches".

    Meanwhile, Scarborough’s coronavirus infection rate remains the lowest in North Yorkshire following another slight drop overnight, latest figures show.

    The borough’s seven day infection rate per 100,000 people now stands at 56, down one onthe previous day.

    The number of Covid-19 patients in Scarborough Hospital has fallen to 14, down four on last week.

  10. Decision day for York Roman Quarter development

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Plans for a new Roman Quarter development in York city centre are set to be decided at a planning meeting today.

    Artist's impression of Roman development

    The new visitor attraction examining York's Roman past could play a "key role" in the city's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to developers.

    York Archaeological Trust (YAT) said the proposed attraction in Rougier Street could draw up to 500,000 visitors and £20m per year.

    The Roman Quarter development is also expected to create up to 450 jobs.

    YAT chief executive David Jennings said if approved it would help York bounce back from the impact of Covid-19.

    The plan, first revealed in 2019, would see developer North Star demolish three buildings, Northern House, Rougier House and Society Bar, to make way for a 10-storey development including apartments, offices and the Roman visitor attraction,

    York Civic Trust, which had previously objected to the proposals on the grounds that the building was too big and could increase poor air quality by creating a “canyon effect”, said it had withdrawn its objection.

  11. Yorkshire's Wednesday weather forecast

    BBC Weather

    A very mild day with outbreaks of rain and blustery winds.

    Tonight, rain and blustery winds will continue, becoming dry later in the night.

    Winds easing towards morning:

    Weather graphic
  12. Scarborough woman jailed for coughing at police officers

    A Scarborough woman who deliberately coughed at police officers has been jailed for four months.

    Lisa Dawn Fisher

    Lisa Dawn Fisher, 31, of Westbourne Grove, pleaded guilty at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court to two counts of common assault against an emergency worker.

    Fisher became "verbally abusive and obstructive towards officers before deliberately coughing at them", on 30 January this year, police said.

    The incident followed reports of a breach of coronavirus regulations at an address in Scarborough, officers added.

    Fisher, who was sentenced on 17 February, was also ordered to pay £75 compensation.

    Ch Insp Rachel Wood said: “This sentence sends a clear message of how serious the criminal justice system takes such behaviour.

    "All too often police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats while carrying out their work to protect members of the public – including the very people who abuse them."

  13. York MP asks Prime Minister over earlier lockdown easing

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A North Yorkshire MP has asked the Prime Minister if lockdown restrictions could be lifted faster if the Covid vaccination programme progresses more quickly than expected.

    Julian Sturdy

    York Outer Conservative MP Julian Sturdy said he “fully supports” Boris Johnson’s plans for a roadmap out of lockdown led by data not dates.

    But he said: “If we are following the data, that flexibility has to work both ways.

    “Is there scope and flexibility to go faster if the vaccination programme proceeds more rapidly than expected and the data shows enhanced effectiveness of the vaccine?”

    Mr Johnson, speaking in the House of Commons, said: “This is already a very fast unlocking programme by other international standards.

    “I think what people want to see and what businesses want is as much certainty as possible, rather than uncertainty - and that’s what we aim to provide.”

    Mr Johnson added that the effect of easing lockdown will be evaluated at regular intervals.

  14. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A169 North Yorkshire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A169 North Yorkshire both ways severe accident, between David Lane and RAF Flydingales turnoff.

    A169 North Yorkshire - A169 White Way Heads closed and it's slow in both directions between the David Lane junction in Lockton and the RAF Flydingales turnoff junction in Goathland, because of an accident.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

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