1. The document proposes radical changes to Malton, but is only 43 pages long and contains no schedules or tables showing how the WPS conclusions have been arrived at. It is therefore impossible to ascertain what degree of weight to attach to the document.
  2. For example, reference is made to a 19% utilisation of  Wentworth Street Car Park. This is a bald statement, which we are expected to accept, without being told whether the 19% relates to the period of the fees trial or to the periods before or after that trial; to what months or seasons of the year, or to what days of the week (i.e.: market days, weekdays and weekends). This is only one example and it demonstrates just how little information members are being given.
  3. The one part of the document that comes anywhere near giving detailed information – Annex A – may be misleading. It compares the town of Malton (population 5,023) with Horsham (pop.50,000), Telford (pop.138,241), Beverley (pop.33,343), Llanelli (pop. 44,475), Caldicot (pop. 9,705), Alnwick (pop. 7,600) and Ludlow (pop.10,500). Even if one adds the population of Norton (6,943), only three of these towns are remotely comparable, and, of course, unless one does further research, it is impossible to assess if a comparison with these three towns is valid. For example, I have made a quick comparison of car park charges over the internet. Of the three towns concerned, Caldicot has only just had car park charges imposed on the town; in Alnwick you can park for 4 hours for just £1-50 in their long stay car parks, and in Ludlow, there is a long stay charge is £2-00 for 4 hours. So like is not being compared with like
  4. The document should have been a discussion document, which could have been made available to the public, so that people interested would have had the opportunity to discuss it with their own advisers, and for those advisers to discuss with WPS. As WPS workings have not been set out in depth, it is not possible to verify WPS conclusions or even to comment on them except in very general terms.
  5. The impression obtained from the document is, therefore, of a campaigning document, rather than of one prepared on a completely objective basis which is open to proper public discussion and debate. It should therefore not be accepted, or, if it is accepted, it should be given very little weight.
  6. Neither ward members nor the Town Council have been involved in the progress of this report. The only people who have been involved are council officers This is another reason for giving the document very little weight.
  7. The document has been prepared without any formal consultation with the Highways Authority and no detailed analysis of the highways impacts of the proposals has been carried out. This is quite extraordinary, bearing in mind the potential impact of a supermarket with a net retail sales area of up to 35,000 sq. ft on Wentworth Street car park.
  8. The document fails to take account of  the impact on local business of the district’s car park charging policy, particularly bearing in mind that car parking strategy (including charges) is considered a sufficiently important part of Yorkshire Forward’s Renaissance Market Towns programme so as to merit a separate document (Renaissance Market Towns Programme – Car Parking Research:  published in 2007) which does take into account the findings of the “Lockwood Survey 2002”, which deals extensively with car park charges.
  9.  The document is designed to give the new supermarket a commercial advantage over existing town centre shops by suggesting that the supermarket proposed for Wentworth Street car park would have “the possibility of around 2 hours of free car parking for supermarket users” (Page 28). This will not benefit the rest of Malton Town Centre, because, when doing supermarket shopping, most people  spend most of 2 hours in the supermarket. The document does not therefore put local shops on  a level playing field with the supermarket.
  10. The document removes short term car parking spaces from Market Square and long term car parking spaces from Wentworth Street. At the bottom of page 29, it is stated: “Adequate long stay car parking on Wentworth Street would need to be relocated elsewhere in Malton” – without saying where.
  11. It has been suggested that this strategy document needs to be in place before the Cattle Market application is dealt with, so as to provide a framework against which the Cattle Market application can be judged. The Malton Estate say the existing local plan and policies set out in other documents which are already in place provide an adequate framework for this, and indeed that their planning application has been prepared on that basis.
  12. I have asked the Fitzwilliam Estate for their comments. They say  as follows:
    1. “There is an enormous amount in this report and we will need time to consider its many proposals.
    1. Its obvious weakness is in seeking to make everything consequent one upon another. Town centre developments are very complex already. If each site and stage can only go ahead when all sites have solved all their individual complexities, the only likely result is paralysis.
    1. Therefore we think that the Livestock Market Site should go ahead as the first stage and we are considering asking for the FME application to be judged against current planning policy. It was drawn up to comply with current policy and complies with it entirely
    1. When we have achieved that hurdle, we will turn our resources to help other elements of the vision to be achieved.”


  1. The document will prejudice the FitzWilliam Estate’s application for the Cattle Market, as appears below.
  2. Page 11 says Malton’s evening dining/ entertainment services is limited. This is not understood, as Malton and its environs have an abundance of evening dining facilities. One can only assume that the reference has more to do with “evening entertainment services” – i.e. night clubs. This may be the kind of service one might expect to find in a city, but are more night clubs really appropriate for a town like Malton? Is a Malton full of night clubs more or less likely to attract customers to the town, or could they just give the town a bad reputation? Could it be that the authors of this report are city based?




  1. I have on many occasions voiced my concern over the folly of proposing the blocking up the road at the top of Market Square and of making the road at the bottom 2-way.
  2. The document fails to consider the impact of the proposal in terms of car parking. All the free on-street spaces have an important function. Many people come to town to buy an item or two, which can be done in less than half an hour. At the moment, it is possible to drive around Market Square. Usually, it is possible to find a free car parking space within one or two circuits. This helps local shops keep their custom. The proposed alteration of Market Square will put a stop to this.


The proposal is not one favoured by the public in the consultation.

  1. The impact in terms of traffic congestion of locating a supermarket which could be bigger than Morrisons on Wentworth Street Car Park hardly bears thinking about. It will be a nightmare. As mentioned above, there has been no formal consultation with County highways.
  2.  It is believed that one of the reasons the application by the police authority to put a police station on Wentworth Street car park in 2003/4 did not proceed was because of road traffic considerations. A supermarket which could be bigger than Morrisons will generate far more traffic movements than the proposed police station would have done.
  3. The Car Park is used extensively by the Livestock Market, more often than not twice a week and is vital for it. There are two possible scenarios: if the Malton Estate’s planning application for the Cattle Market  fails and the Cattle Market continues on its present site, the Cattle Market will lose its parking facility and will probably have to close. If the Malton Estate’s application succeeds, and the Cattle Market is relocated, the cost of relocation will be increased by the need to include parking space on the new site. This could well prejudice the relocation of the cattle market.
  4. One of the main “anchors” of  the commercial viability of Malton Town Centre is the Cattle Market, because farmers and their families coming to the Cattle Market use Malton shops. If the Cattle Market is relocated, and parking is provided on the Cattle Market site, farmers and their families are less likely to use the local shops. They will cross what is now Wentworth Street Car Park and will find the supermarket on it far more convenient for them than the shops on Wheelgate or Market Square, which will probably lose business as a result.
  5. If the cattle market is relocated and there is no supermarket on Wentworth Street Car Park, farmers will continue  to park there and, when taking a break from business at the cattle market, they will naturally walk across the car park and continue to patronise shops in Wheelgate and Market Square.
  6. The study by Roger Tyms and Partners (RTM) entitled “Ryedale Retail Capacity Study (2006)” is referred to in the report, RTM say that Malton has room for around 30,000sq.ft. of new sales area for convenience goods (ie the kind of everyday goods which are sold in supermarkets) and 77,500 sq. ft of new sales area for comparison goods. The Malton Estate’s proposals for the Cattle Market include a food hall of 16,000 sq.ft. It follows that there will not be room for this and for the supermarket (20,000 – 35,000sq.ft.) on Wentworth Street. The supermarket allocation could, therefore prejudice the Malton Estate’s application, and, indeed, it is understood that the Estate have already been asked to change their food hall proposals from a “trolley” to a “basket” shop. Ryedale planners envisage the FitzWilliam Foodhall to be reduced in size to 8,500 – 5,000 sq. ft – less than the old Jacksons store.
  7. There are issues in terms of noise and nuisance for the residential properties neighbouring what could become a 24 hour store.  
  8. A supermarket on Wentworth Street car Park is disproportionate to the needs of the town. Malton already has two large supermarkets and needs another like a hole in the head!
  9. The suggestion that the eastern upper level of the site would be suited to residential development in the form of flats “to ensure greater amounts of activity on the site outside  of the operating hours of the retail provision” (Page 27) makes no sense, in the context of the long operating hours of the super market. Such flats will not be desirable places to live in.



  • I favour the FitzWilliam application for the redevelopment of this site, provided the cattle market itself is relocated within a very short distance of Wheelgate and Market Square. I understand a site on Pasture Lane in the Showfield is being considered.
  •  The FitzWilliam Estate’s application is different from Option B in the WSP Report. The Malton Estate have a huge vested interest in the commercial viability of the centre of Malton, and have prepared a scheme which will cost £20M. They will therefore have considered very carefully the viability of their scheme and its likely impact on the rest of their commercial property. Their scheme is, therefore, more likely to benefit the town centre than any scheme prepared by the Council and its consultants. They should therefore be listened to very carefully and given the opportunity to make their scheme work – provided the Cattle Market is relocated.
  • The Option B proposal of WPS is for a “large retail store (15,000 sq.ft), but without the supermarket element of Option A”. This is not the same as the Estate’s proposal for a supermarket (16,000 sq.ft.). As mentioned before, officers envisage any supermarket element on the site as being 5,000 – 8,000 sq.ft – ie smaller than Jacksons.
  • The Estate propose an up-market food hall of 16,000 sq. ft., and seven other shops with underground car parking. The idea is that customers will be attracted to the food hall, and will then be inclined to go and visit the other town centre shops.
  • The Estate’s proposal is proportionate to a town the size of Malton, and is deliberately designed to enhance the value of their investment in the rest of the town. In this respect the interests of the Estate and of the Town merge to the extent of being identical.
  • There are references throughout the WPS document to the need for “anchors”. By “anchor”, one may suppose this means an attraction in the town which will draw large numbers of customers into a town,  to the benefit of the town’s shops. The kind of anchors one might expect in a  small market town like Malton are different to what one might expect in large towns, cities and out-of –town shopping centres like Monks Cross.
  • In city centres and out of town centres, the anchor is usually a large store, such as Tesco or ASDA. Shoppers using these are likely to look around the rest of the complex. This idea has already been tried in Malton. Safeways (now Morrisons) has been built and extended. It has a huge car park, which is free. It draws a lot of customers, and might even be said to have reduced the leakage of business to shops in Monks Cross. However, the experience of local businesses is that the only shop which really benefits from this is Morrisons – Morrisons has done nothing to regenerate the part of Malton in which it is situated, and has taken more  business away from town centre shops than they have received as a result of it being there. One suspects that this is because of Morrisons’ disproportionate size, and the attraction of free car parking.
  • The “anchors” one might expect to find in small market towns like Malton might be rather different to those one would expect to find in a city centre. The document does in fact refer to some of them. For example, the Cattle Market in its heyday (not so long ago) was the main draw to the town, and, even now when in relative decline, it still attracts considerable business to local shops. Other draws can include varied DIY stores like Yates, specialist butchers that sell game etc. The historic character of the architecture can also help, as can a famous historic monument, or the attraction of scenic countryside nearby. All these things taken together can be the draw.
  • The Malton Estate have taken the view that the additional “anchor” or attraction which Malton needs is their cattle market development, and on the basis of the research they have carried out, they have decided to commit £20M of their own money to the project. The Malton Estate will put their money where their mouth is – if they are allowed to do so. They are in the best position to decide what is best to protect their investment in the town, and, as they own most of the commercial properties there, we should listen very carefully to what they say.
3rd March 2008


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