A legal challenge of the Local Plan may not be bad for Malton - 4th November 2013


Ryedale residents will rightly be concerned about the local plan.


The plan is bad for the following reasons.


It is a plan which still seeks to have a superstore on Wentworth Street Car Park – the Council haven’t given up on this in spite of having to pay £148,000 in costs for their last failed attempt.


It is a plan for a district which is the second most sparsely populated district in England, but where only 10% of new houses are going to be allowed outside the market towns. This may benefit the owners of the numerous holiday lets which have taken over many Ryedale villages, but will not promote thriving local communities or facilities such as local shops, the local pub, or the local post office. Councillors who say they want to retain these, but have voted for the plan, are hypocrites.


50% of all new housing is imposed on Malton and Norton, and 35% on Pickering and Kirby Moorside.


It is a plan which permits the owners of the great estates to build houses where nobody else would be allowed to build them.


It is a plan which requires 80% of all new employment development to go to Malton, so that people will have to travel to work to Malton instead of working where the new houses are.


I attended the whole of the public hearing into the plan, and drew the inspector’s attention to these issues and to the many flawed arguments in the documents on which the plan was based. The inspector was not interested, and no cross-examination was allowed. All that mattered to him was the bottom line recommendation in the reports, and he would make no alteration which the Council would not agree to.


Residents of Ryedale towns should be seriously concerned. The Council did not consult adequately, and lost no time in adopting the plan. However, one of the developers has challenged the plan and it is now before the high court for judicial review. The developers want even more new houses than Ryedale, but not necessarily in the market towns or service villages. If their legal challenge succeeds, the housing part of the plan will be scrapped and Ryedale will have to start again.


He completely ignored the views of Malton and Norton residents expressed in the survey of their local plan.


If this means more houses will have to be built, there will be no room for the additional houses in the market towns, and Ryedale will have to rethink how the new houses should be distributed. This will give the market towns the opportunity to argue for a more fair, reasonable and sustainable share, and fewer houses than they are currently required to accept.


So the developers’ legal challenge, if successful, may not be so bad for Ryedale’s market towns.





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