The Consultation on Malton Town Centre offers NO Choice

Why the Council has just lost HALF A MILLION pounds in planning grant

  5th August 2008

Town and Country Planning is one of those subjects which calls to mind long and boring documents which are difficult to understand. We tend to ignore them, until we suddenly find that we can’t do something we could have done a year ago or an unwelcome new development suddenly becomes imminent.

So it is important that we take notice of these documents and try and work out how they will affect us, however much they seem to be designed to lull us to sleep. This particularly applies to Malton Town Centre.

We have already had two consultations on the Malton Town Centre Strategy, which was designed to look at certain key sites, of which the two most controversial are The Cattle Market and Wentworth Street Car Park. We have seen how this consultation deliberately ignored the application by the Malton Estate Company for the development of the Cattle Market. The public is now being reconsulted again.

It would be impossible to deal with all the issues in the short space of this article. So I will concentrate on a few points.

One of the outcomes of the first consultation was that the option for Wentworth Street Car preferred by the 80 or so people who actually responded was redevelopment for housing. The Consultants disagreed and recommended redevelolpment for a new superstore. Their report gives brief reasons but no considered arguments based on evidence for this conclusion.

The Malton Estate Company’s application is supported by evidence, and is designed to benefit the existing town centre, but is simply brushed aside by the consultants.

The second consultation was by a steering group, with consultees from the local town councils and the local business community. They totally opposed the idea of a new superstore, and were concerned to see a relocation of the Cattle Market. The consultees were not allowed to discuss the Malton Estate Company’s application, although they asked to do so.

Having failed to get the answer  they wanted, the Council used the taxpayer’s money to circulate a questionnaire in the Council’s newspaper, which again fails to make any mention of the Estate’s application.

Now, on 29th and 30th August, there is going to be a further consultation at the Milton Rooms. It is believed that a film show may be included, which is rumoured to have a budget of £10,000. It is feared that this too may be a selling exercise rather than a truly independent consultation.

The Council seems to have gone out of its way to undermine the Estate’s Cattle Market Application. It could have simply been allowed to proceed, and if it had satisfied all the appropriate criteria (including the requirement to have a positive impact on the vitality and viability of the existing town centre), it could have been passed, and then the Town Centre Strategy could have followed on from that.

Instead the Council has diverted its resources on producing its own Town Centre Strategy, with the not so well hidden agenda of  selling Wentworth Street Car Park. The result is that work that the Council should have been doing, namely the production of a new local plan (or Local Development Framework, as this is now called) has fallen behind. The consequence is that the Government has penalised the Council to the extent of £500,000 in lost government “planning delivery” grant.

So, if you go to the consultation at the end of this month, make sure you ask the Council to produce a professional study on the impact of the Council’s proposals on the vitality and viability of the existing town centre, and a comparison of the impact of the Council’s proposals with those of the Malton Estate.


The following documents are recorded under the "News and Views" tab, and state the views of Paul Andrews and Habton PC on the Core Strategy of the LDF. Please click on the list for a direct link to the document, and see if you agree with the views stated:

2006 Response of PA to Council's consultation on draft Core Strategy of LDF

5th July 2006 Written Representations of PA on the Care Strategy for the Examination in Public

20th August 2007 Written Representations of Habton PC on Revised Draft Core Strategy

20th August 2007 Written Representations of PA on the Revised Draft Core Strategy



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