REVISED  APPLICATION 11/00927/MOUT – Retail redevelopment of Wentworth Street Car park, Malton, North Yorks.


Further Comments of Councillor Paul Andrews


I have already submitted brief representations in regard to this matter. However, that was before I received a copy of the statement of Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) of 18th November 2013. You will recall that I had requested this about two weeks before I submitted my previous representations. I now understand that the consultation period has been extended following the applicants’ submission of drainage reports. I am therefore taking this as an opportunity to comment on the NLP statement, as well as to present evidence on highways and land drainage.


I would point out that consultation on the application commenced in November. As this coincided with the lead up to the Christmas period, and due to the sheer bulk of the material submitted, I have had little time or opportunity to consider any papers other than the NLP report and annexes. I have not, for example, had time to consider the applicant’s drainage and highways statements. So I have had to comment on both drainage and highways matters without the advantage of seeing what the applicants have to say about them.

I therefore reserve the right to make further comments on the application both before consideration by the committee and afterwards (if there is an appeal).


The Context (NLP para 4.4)


The Council has previously relied on the advice of Roger Tymms and Partners and officers of East Yorkshire Council.


At the public enquiry into the Cattle Market Case, the consultant from RTP was compelled to admit that the advice given by his firm was wrong. The inspector thought this was inexcusable (para.7 Costs decision letter) and accordingly awarded costs against the Council. It is surprising that officers of East Yorkshire Council endorsed evidence which was inexcusably wrong, and this suggests that pressure may have been put on them, and perhaps this may be the reason they are no longer involved in this matter.


Following the decision in the Livestock Market Case, I have on two occasions requested a full investigation into how the inexcusably wrong advice had been given to members of the planning committee. Both requests were refused, the second on mistaken legal grounds.

I have seen literature from NLP which talks about Ryedale Council being the applicant’s “partner” in their proposed development, and a newspaper letter from Councillor Mrs. Cowling, the Leader of the Council, which openly endorses the application. The letter was published by the Gazette and Herald on 7th January 2014.  I am therefore concerned that advice is given on sound planning principles and that no pressure should be put on the case officer or on Mr. England to produce advice which satisfies the corporate financial self-interest of the Council.


In the circumstances, at the Council meeting of 8th January 2014, I asked the Leader of the Council to advise members in writing who Mr. England is, how he was appointed, what process of selection was gone through, who recommended him, what other Councils he has worked for, and which Council members were consulted prior to his engagement. I await her written reply.


In view of the findings of the inspector at the LMS appeal and the admissions which were made on the Council’s behalf by their consultant at that appeal to the effect that the LMS site was the most sequentially preferential site and that the advice given the Committee was inexcusably wrong, it is suggested that the best way for the Council to avoid any further order for costs would be to refuse this application. This would leave the applicant the opportunity to appeal and argue the case out at length with the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate Company before an independent government inspector. 


Documents to be referred to


I would stress that the objections I previously submitted against the original application and in regard to the request for call-in still stand, and that the comments set out in this document merely complement and update these, and that the case officer is required to consider all my representations in their totality. For the avoidance of doubt, a copy of the text of my objections to the original application is attached as Appendix 1, and Appendix 2 is a copy of the statement I made to the inspector at the enquiry into the LMS appeal.  The folder with the exhibits and appendices to Appendix 1 is with Ryedale’s Planning Department, and should be obtained from them.


The following points are made:


Malton’s Town Centre ( Convenience)


Firstly, the function of existing Malton shops is not merely complementary to the existing supermarkets. They are entirely independent and are managed by an Estate Company so that the town centre can stand on its own and compete with Morrisons and the other supermarkets. For example, I am not anti-supermarket, and up until about three years ago we did about half our weekly-shop in Morrisons, and the rest in the Town Centre. We became dissatisfied with Morrisons when they refused to give us a small refund, and now do at least 95% of our weekly shop in the town centre. It is convenient to shop in the town centre, starting with Derek Fox, the butcher, whose shop is one of the few in the county which is licensed to sell game. If there is any meat product they don’t have, Overtons will have it (and vice versa). We then go to Yorkshire Trading for cleaning materials, including washing powder and dishwasher tablets etc. We get our bread from Thomas’s and go to Heron for frozen foods and general groceries. If we want any cereals, dried fruits, flour, herbs spices, pasta or other cooking and baking ingredients, we can buy as much or as little as we want from Scoops. Scoops is a real “Aladin’s Cave” – it is amazing what you can buy there. If Heron don’t have a grocery item, we can get it from Scoops and vice-versa. There is Linton’s pet shop in Market Square which sells every variety of pet food, and we usually end up in Paley’s for fruit, vegetables, coal and firewood. Paley’s selection is fully comprehensive, and includes local, seasonal, produce. After Paley’s we have a cup of coffee at the Hidden Monkey. If we want any alcoholic drinks, we will go to Sainsbury’s on the way home. We can get round the shops in just over an hour, and have time for twenty minutes or so for coffee. We get our milk delivered by a local milk man. We prefer a local butcher because their meat is hung, and therefore tastes better than supermarket meat. It is not pre-packaged and we can therefore buy as much or as little as we want. Paley’s is an amazing shop which sells an incredible variety of goods at very competitive prices. Again very little is pre-packaged and we can buy as much or as little as we like.


We have many friends and relatives who live in conurbations and normally shop in supermarkets. When they come to stay, they are very impressed with what is available in Malton. Some of them will stock up in shops like Paleys and Derek Fox before they go home.

The prices in some shops are cheaper than the supermarkets; others are more expensive. We eat well.  Our weekly in-town shop costs on average about £ 75 plus tea or coffee at the Hidden Monkey. At £37 each for seven days, and including four extra meals each week for grandchildren and their parents, this does not seem expensive. We do not believe supermarket shopping would be any cheaper.


Incidentally, it is not being suggested that the shops named above are any better than their town centre competitors. They are simply our preference – other shoppers will have different preferences. For example, both Derek Fox and Overtons are excellent butchers, and Dales is also a very good greengrocer. There is a huge variety of delicatessens and coffee shops. We tend to use the Hidden Monkey on Fridays. I have meetings at “Dickens of a Deli” on Wednesdays, and we also have coffees at Rory’s Bar and “The New Malton”. The variety and competition between Town Centre shops contributes to the quality and competitive prices of their goods. This all helps to make town centre shopping a more worthwhile experience than a supermarket shop.


The point is that the town centre provides a comprehensive range of food shops which effectively compete with the Supermarkets, and should in no way be considered to be just “complementary”, as suggested by NLP and also, I believe, in the applicants’ publicity and consultation material.


Malton’s Comparison Shops and Services


I would add a short note about Norton/Malton’s camparison stores. Malton/Norton is a district centre. One would never expect to find in these towns the kind of range and diversity or size of stores or stores with national names which one would expect to find in the neighbouring sub-regional centres of York or Scarborough. That is why it is unrealistic to expect any increase in convenience trade to bring with it a big increase in comparison trade – York and Scarborough should always have a greater pull. NLP have recognised this by stating that any such increase in comparison sales would be no more than in the region of 5 – 10 %. I would maintain my views as set out in the joint report of Paul Beanland and myself in regard to this. I would add that, whereas I do believe a top range store on LMS might help to bring about an increase in the range and diversity of Malton’s comparison outlets, a bog standard TESCO or similar store on WSCP would not, because such a store on WWSCP is unlikely to attract many shoppers who do not already shop in Malton/Norton.


Notwithstanding that Malton/Norton is not a subregional centre, It is surprising what a rich range and diversity is already there. The following is just a personal view.


Malton/Norton is near Dalby forest, which is full of mountain-biking trails. It is also close to the Wolds Way. We now have a top class bicycle store which specialises in top of the range mountain and sports bikes. We have several garages, which together provide a full range of car sales, repairs and services. Malton is the centre of a country area, where horse riding for leisure or equestrian sports is very popular. Robinsons provide a full-range of equestrian equipment, and riding and top-class country clothing. Yorkshire Trading also sells a range of casual country clothes. There is a gun shop for country sports. Some of the shops serve the farming community, but Yates also provides a comprehensive range of cookers, fridges, washing and dish-washing machines and other kitchen equipment, as well as casual clothes, and DIY kit. Another farmers’ shop, Woodalls, was originally a “rope-maker”. I doubt if they make ropes now, but when I had a trailer tent, I used to take the canvass cover into them for repairs, and they have also repaired the Dacron and nylon sails of my yacht. Some months ago I was considering replacing the sail-cover which goes on the boom of my yacht, and was surprised to hear friends from Scarborough Yacht Club say: “did you know there’s a shop in Malton called Woodalls – they’ll make one for you.” There is a toy shop under the cinema, and some years I have done all my Christmas shopping in Malton


Stitches Interiors sell and fit top-range soft furnishings. We bought our lounge curtains from them. Greens sell a vast quantity of low-range hard furniture. We’ve bought three beds from there. We have three jewellers which attract customers from outside the district. Smash sells ladies’ fashions, and is always very busy. There is also a men’s Smash, with a variety of top-range men’s clothes. There are other clothes shops, several chemists (including a Boots), shops selling ladies’ perfumes, make-up and other perquisites, shoe shops, three bookshops (Hoppers, WH Smith and The Works) a camera shop etc.


TVC Electricals sells radios, TV’s and other electric and electronic goods. There is a specialist office stationer (Wallis), and Computer FX will repair, service and maintain computers. They also sell printer ink at half the price the printer manufacturers charge, as well as computer accessories and some programmes.


Malton has a livestock market and the branches of all the usual banks and building societies. There are accountants, estate agents, auctioneers, solicitors, printers, a dozen pubs, many hairdressers, two barbers, several dental practices, three chemists, a large surgery, a chocolatier, a hospital, and at least four opticians. There is a wide variety of restaurants (including Italian, Thai, Mexican and Indian and the top of the range restaurant at the Talbot which is directed by celebrity chef, James Martin). There are two Chinese take-aways, two fish and chip shops, and three miles away in Swinton a hugely successful Cantonese restaurant selling top class Chinese food. Many of the village pubs around Malton sell food which varies from ordinary pub grub to top of the range cordon bleu ( the Grapes, Great Habton).


Malton has a cinema which is run by a former media specialist which punches well above its weight. His audience has grown over the last ten years, and he has recently installed top of the range digital 3D projectors. New films often come to Malton on the day of their release. So there is no need to go to York or Scarborough to see the latest films. The Palace Cinema also shows live performances of ballets and operas from Covent Garden.


The Milton Rooms is a multi-purpose entertainment centre. It has an art-deco theatre with an interesting history, and a proper sprung dance floor. In the last few years, professional actor Garry Cooper and West End producer Nick Bagnall managed the Milton Rooms and brought to it top range national entertainers (eg. Barry Crier) and produced top class performances of plays such as Midsummer Night’s Dream (professional actors supported by amateurs and children from local schools) and “A Christmas Fair”. Nick and Garry have gone now, but the work they put in place to repair, refurbish and modernise the building continues and has the support of Ryedale District Council.


There are a few gaps. The one most often mentioned is the lack of a shop selling men’s formal clothes (ie. lounge suits etc.), but nevertheless NLP are right in saying that the town is vibrant and its vitality is good. However, it is outrageous of them to suggest that the town needs a bog-standard TESCO or similar store to maintain, increase and improve the range and diversity of its comparison shops.


Malton comparison prices are, generally speaking, considered to be comparable with prices paid in sub-regional or regional centres.


Malton is a low wage area


The second point is that Ryedale is a low income area. In order to make a living, the shops have to aim for the market where the money is, and that is the low-wage market. Many shops also have ranges of products which are of a specialist nature aimed at the mid to high wage market. However, most of these depend for their bread and butter on the products they sell for the low-wage market. I have seen several shops come to Malton which aim for the mid to high wage market alone, but unfortunately such shops don’t seem to last very long. It is therefore completely wrong to suggest (as NLP do suggest) that Malton Town Centre shops can survive by selling mainly specialist products.   They will not. A superstore like TESCO which aims at the bottom end of the market will simply put so many of the independent traders out of business that it will kill the town centre and there will be few shops left capable of selling specialist goods.


In my view, this is why town centre shop prices are so competitive. It is also the reason TESCO is so feared and why top range shops like Waitrose would be so welcome. A TESCO would take away much of the “low wage” market, whilst a Waitrose would not undermine the shops which depend for their  “bread and butter” on the low wage market, but would bring into the town more high to mid earners, and so encourage traders to improve their ranges by stocking more top range goods, particularly more top-range comparison goods.


Council members have been advised that the name and type of the superstore is not normally a material planning consideration. However, Malton Town Centre is a Conservation Area, and if its commercial viability is significantly weakened, the nature of the Conservation Area will change and there will be a risk that the buildings will degrade. Any consideration which might cause this to happen should be a material planning consideration. If a TESCO would damage the Conservation Area, when a Waitrose might improve it, then the nature and name of the store chain should be taken into account as a material planning consideration. There is support for this in the Council’s documents: their first report recommending a supermarket on WSCP was produced by WSP and Atisreal in March 2008. This recommended a “high to medium” range store. This automatically excludes TESCO, which is generally regarded as a “low” range store. It follows that any proposal including a TESCO should be excluded. If it is not possible to exclude TESCO by name, low range superstores should be excluded by category.


Is the LMS a viable site? (NLP 5.38 – 5.40 & 6.9 – 6.18)


 A third issue concerns the suggestion that the Cattle Market is not a viable site, whereas Wentworth Street Car park is. This is in stark contrast to the view taken by the Council in all their official documents right up until September 2008. Details will be found in the file of written objections    (Appendix 1 of this document) submitted against the original application (Section 7 of the text pp 10 - 22 ) . Briefly, the LMS site was first recommended by RTP in their 2006 report.This recommendation was carried forward in the Malton Town Centre Renaissance and Enhancement Study of 2006, the Specification of work to be carried out by WSP and Atisreal dated 20th March 2007, and September 2008 draft report by RTP. Para. 5.22 of the September 2008 report says of the LMS site: 


“In summary, we consider that the well-located Cattlemarket Site is a suitable, viable and immediately available site, of a sufficient size to accommodate a good quality retail-led development. Indeed a planning application seeking development of convenience and comparison retail floorspace on the site (through the provision of eight new-build retail units) is currently under consideration by the Council”


Para. 5.30 of the same report says in regard to WSCP:


“As such, although the site may be suitable for retail development in the longer-term, we do not consider it represents a short-term development opportunity.”


In subsequent reports RTP’s recommendations changed, as the Council put its own corporate financial self-interest above the public interest and decided to make money out of the sale of the car park.


NLP argue that, as there is currently no operator for the Livestock Market, then this is evidence that it will never be redeveloped. However, Waitrose were interested in the site in 2007/2008, and contributed to the design of the LMS planning application which the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate submitted in 2007 – the planning application referred to in para.5.22 of RTP’s September 2008 Report referred to above.


Further, it was accepted by the Council at the LMS appeal that it was unlikely that an operator would come forward while the Council was actively promoting a proposal to develop WSCP. The Council’s acceptance of this point is recorded in para.32 of Inspector Wildsmith’s decision on the LMS appeal, where he says:


“However, whilst it is common ground that the grant of planning permission for a larger store on the WSCP site would make it more difficult for an operator to be found for the appeal proposal……….”


Notwithstanding this, the Council has done everything in its power to put any prospective operator off. This includes statements by leading members to the press, publicity material citing the Council as the applicant’s “partners” and the deliberate promotion of the “Northern Arc” in the draft district plan, even though there is little or no evidence to support it.

The only way to test the willingness of an operator to take on the LMS site is for the Council to swallow its pride, accept the LMS decision, and do everything it can to support the plans for the LMS. If after a few years, it still appears that no operator can be found, the issue of WSCP might then be re-opened. In other words, the LMS proposal should be given a reasonable chance of success, before anybody can say with any credibility that the site is unviable.


There is attached to NLP’s statement letters from Pudney Shuttleworth, Cheetham and Mortimer, and Chase and Partners. These purport to be evidence that the LMS site is not viable. I have read these, but would suggest they should be given little weight for the following reasons:

  • They are not independent as they have clearly been prepared to support the WSCP case and are designed to make the best possible case for the clients who have paid for it;
  • They take no account of the original recommendations of RTP in regard to both sites;
  • They take no account of the interest that was expressed by Waitrose in the LMS site in 2007/8, and the contribution that Waitrose made to the designs submitted with the 2007 LMS planning application;
  • They suggest that Sainsburys might be interested in the WSCP site, when Sainsburys have publicly stated that they are not;
  • It is difficult to see why TESCO would want to invest their money in the WSCP site at this time.

To elaborate on the last two bulleted points, the suggestion is that Sainsbury and TESCO might be interested in developing WSCP. As regards Sainsbury, I quote a press release given to the Gazette and Herald on 25th July 2011:



Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 1:34 PM

Subject: Sainsbury's not interested in Wentworth Street sites



As discussed, please find a statement from Sainsbury's re: the Wentworth Street supermarket proposals below. Please do get in touch if you have any further questions.






Following recent speculation, Sainsbury’s has distanced itself from GMI Holbeck’s proposals for a new supermarket on the site of Wentworth Street car park in Malton. 

The company has issued a letter to the developer informing them that they are not interested in occupying the proposed development, which was shown recently at public exhibitions in the town. 

Jo Try, Sainsbury’s regional development executive, said:

“We have decided not to proceed with any negotiations with GMI Holbeck as we believe the Wentworth Street car park site is not suitable for a food store. 

“Sainsbury’s has explored the site in great detail and it has been through our rigorous store analysis process. We reviewed the site in 2008 and decided then that it was not suitable for a Sainsbury's store. 

"We recently met with GMI Holbeck to discuss their proposals but our conclusion remains that Wentworth Street car park is not capable of providing the size and quality of food store that Malton requires. 

“In addition, we believe there are significant problems with access to the site and the tight roads surrounding it. 

“Sainsbury’s is however still interested in bringing a new store to Malton and is looking at other possible sites in the town.” 

It follows that if the various consultants are suggesting that Sainsbury would be interested in the WSCP site, either Sainsbury’s were mistaken in 2011, or they are mistaken now or the various consultants have mistakenly reported Sainsbury’s intentions. In my view, this discredits much of the evidence of these consultants.


As regards TESCO, it would appear from press reports that they have over-stretched themselves. In fact Cheatham and Mortimer say TESCO have withdrawn from the market for 18 months and the “business now believes it is close to being in a position to re-enter the market and identify new opportunities” (my underlining).


It follows that if TESCO are “close” to being in the position of identifying new opportunities, they are not there yet. It also follows that TESCO will then have to “identify new opportunities”. No doubt WSCP will be one of many sites which they will have to put through the same “rigorous store analysis process” as Sainsbury’s. It is suggested that, as WSCP has no direct access to the A64 via the Broughton Road, the drainage considerations mentioned below, and for the other reasons stated in Sainsbury’s press statement, it is unlikely to rise to the top of TESCO’s list.


It would appear therefore that, if there is little prospect of  a superstore chain developing WSCP now, there is a risk that, if the application is granted permission and the purchase is completed, an option will be taken and WSCP will be sold on into an operator’s land bank  for later consideration for future development. The grant of planning permission would then achieve nothing except satisfy the Council’s financial self-interest, whilst also destroying any future prospect of attracting a suitable operator to the LMS site. In my view, this would be thoroughly reprehensible and irresponsible and an extraordinary abuse of the planning system, and therefore contrary to public policy.


The Sequential Test and Legal Case Law (NLP 6.0 – 6.8)


All of this was thoroughly debated before the LMS inspector, with experienced legal counsel representing both sides. The Council’s consultant was forced to concede under cross-examination that the LMS site is the sequentially preferable site, and the inspector accordingly made a finding to this effect. The applicant was notified of the appeal hearing and haad the opportunity of appearing, but declined to do so. So it is too late for the applicant to question this now. Similarly the relevant case law was also debated, and no legal challenge was made.


The District Plan and the Northern Arc (NLP 3.21 – 3.32)


The District Plan is currently subject to legal challenge, and it is understood that a hearing date has been fixed for 11th April 2014. It is correct that only the Housing Chapter is subject to challenge. However, as every part of the plan inter-relates to the others, if the challenge is successful, it is difficult to see how the Council can avoid having to reconsider other parts of the plan, including the economic chapter.


As regards the Northern Arc, the Local Plans Inspector’s view was: “Although there is limited evidence to support this concept, it would provide an appropriate steer to the Local Plans Sites Document…….” It was in fact argued that there was no evidence to support the Northern Arc, but the inspector chose to say there was “limited” evidence. It nevertheless follows that if there is only “limited evidence” to support the concept, then the “Northern Arc” “steer” should only be given “limited weight”.


The Secretary of State’s letter of 15th August 2012 in response to the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate Company’s letter before claim.


This letter followed a letter before claim in a threatened application for judicial review. It was alleged that the Secretary of State’s decision not to call in the two applications (LMS and WSCP) was unlawful.


The Secretary of State’s letter is exclusively concerned with arguing that he was under no legal obligation to call these matters in. At the heart of the argument is the “Cabourne” statement. It is admitted in the letter that under previous governments the rate of call-in applications was 150 a year, whereas in the previous year only 6 applications had been called in. It is difficult to see how one year so few and in another year so many matters should be called in if the same principles of the Cabourne Statement at that time applied to all applications in both the selected years. There were therefore grounds for judicial review.


In para 20, the Secretary of State admits that the totality of evidence concerning the potential impact of the proposals on the town centre was inconclusive.


In para. 31 he lists the options available, including appeal against the LMS decision and an injunction application to prevent the Council issuing planning consent before the appeal was determined.


The Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate Company would seem to have taken the Secretary of State’s advice, to the extent that they obtained the Council’s admission at the LMS appeal that the consent for WSCP could not legally be issued unless it was first referred back to the committee. This was because the Council admitted that the report to the Committee in question was wrong. The LMS enquiry inspector ruled that the advice in the report was so wrong as to be inexcusable.


In the circumstances, particularly bearing in mind the admissions made on behalf of the Council when tested by cross-examination, it is suggested that the decision letter of inspector Wildsmith over-rides any purported conclusions on the planning merits of the application made by the Secretary of State in his said letter dated 15th August 2012.


Quantitative Capacity and Impact (NLP paras 4.2 -7.53)


My approach to this differs from that of Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate Company. My starting point is that the evidence, when analysed properly shows there is no further quantitative capacity to accommodate any future convenience retail development, and that the justification for the LMS site has to rest on qualitative criteria. The Estate Company broadly accepted the Council’s requirement for 1,890 sq. m quantitative spare capacity, and then argued that the LMS redevelopment would meet this requirement on quantitative grounds as the most sequentially preferable site.


My arguments are summarised in the joint statement of myself and Paul Beanland, which was submitted with my pre-December 19th 2013 objection letter. These arguments are also considered in pp 18-22 of Appendix 1 hereto.


It is important to compare NLP’s arguments and figures with those of RTP, in order to assess if the arguments made by myself and Paul Beanland apply to NLP as well as to RTP’s assessments.


One of the key issues is the determination of the OCA or “Study Area”. It is noted that the Study Area in Appendix 1 of NLP’s “updated” retail statement exactly matches the “OCA” (Overall Catchment Area) used in all the RTP reports.


No verifiable, logical, rational or scientific justification is given for this study area. It is simply a collection of postal areas which more or less follow the boundaries of the administrative district. I can find no such justification in any of the other documents. In my experience, trade does not follow administrative boundaries. According to RTP, National Guidance requires applicants to “establish the appropriate retail catchment are for the highest order centre”. The highest order centre is Malton/Norton. The Study Area used by RTP and NLP does not accord with this for the reasons explained in the joint statement of myself and Paul Beanland.

NLP’s “Study Area” makes no sense, particularly as the outermost boundaries are close to Scarborough and York, which are sub-regional centres, and not a district centre like Malton.

In regard to this aspect then, the views previously expressed by myself and Paul Beanland in regard to the OCA apply to the NLP “study area”.


Similarly the NLP target of 85% is the same as in RTP 2011, but higher than the 80% target set in earlier RTP reports. Neither RTP nor NLP provide any verifiable or rational justification for either of these targets. They are little more than aspirations based on guesswork without any rational assessment of any realistic prospects of achievement. If consultants and Councils are allowed to invent their own study areas and targets in this way to suit their own purposes, there will be little to stop even the most outrageous applications, and all national guidance on maintaining the vitality and viability of existing town centres will have been undermined and circumvented to the extent that it will not be worth the paper it is written on.


As NLP’s figures are based on a flawed study area and a flawed target, they should be dismissed in their entirety. However, if they have to be looked at further, I would comment as follows.


In regard to the figures on quantitative capacity set out in Appendix 3 of the NLP “update”,

using different calculations, they come to roughly the same conclusions in Table 4 as RTP  had previously – namely that in terms of convenience retail, shops within the study area take 68.818% (can we call this 69%?) of the convenience retail trade of the entire study area. Of this Malton/Norton shops take 47.6% (ie more than two thirds of the study area total). So I would see no reason to change my views in regard to the amount of convenience retail trade currently being taken by Malton: if one takes a more realistic study area, such as the one drawn by Paul Beanland, Malton and the other towns within Paul Beanland’s study area may already be taking as much as 80% of the convenience retail trade of Paul Beanland’s study area – or more. However, we cannot know this without further information. This requires dividing the large postal code areas used to describe the study area into smaller component units so as to fit Paul Beanland’s more realistic study area. I can see no reason why this cannot be done.


In their statements RTP have based their projections on three possible scenarios: constant retention (which assumes that the percentage of the trade retained within their OCA will remain the same in the future, a rising retention (which assumes that it is realistic to increase the percentage of trade retained within their OCA) and a “Rising Retention Plus”. It is not clear whether or not NLP’s tables represent the “Rising Retention Scenario” or the “Rising Retention Plus” scenario, but they certainly do not show the “Constant Retention Scenario.”

In my view, this is the wrong approach. The starting point should be an OCA for the “highest order settlement”, namely Malton, and then one should look for a rising retention scenario within that OCA alone.


Table 3 shows a growth in total convenience goods expenditure within the Study Area between 2013 and 2014, totalling £6.7M. It is not understood how this is assessed. The net increase in population of the Study Area during 2011 - 2023 is given as 1,419 ( 55,222 – 53,803 – see Table 1). The Average retail expenditure per person in 2011 is £1,827 (Table 2 ). If one multiplies the increased population by the average expenditure, the increased convenience goods expenditure available at 2011 prices and 2011 currency values is £2,592,513, and not £6,741,000. Any projection of growth in affluence is highly suspect, bearing in mind the recession and the general reduction in wages, salaries and living standards in real terms. One cannot assume that everybody in this country will keep on getting richer and richer every year.

Table 7 shows that even within the Study Area, once all existing commitments are in place, NLP would expect convenience retailers within their study area to take 72.3% of all convenience retail trade within their study area. However, the Cattle Market redevelopment (which is also a commitment) is not included in this table. Again this figure appears to be based on the flawed rising or rising plus retention  hypothesis. It is possible for these commitments to increase the retention of convenience trade within the Paul Beanland OCA, but it is unlikely that a significant number of shoppers will be drawn from outside the threshold which Paul Beanland describes. As NLP’s figures are based on a flawed hypothetical rising retention for the whole of their Study Area, there will inevitably be an outflow of trade from existing outlets.


Tables 9-12 would seem to project figures from a rising retention scenario to the NLP Study Area with a supermarket on WSCP, and then also with the LMS proposals. They say that to have both stores would be “the worst case scenario.” By this I assume they mean they accept that there is only room for one more supermarket in Malton  - again based on a rising retention scenario for the whole of their Study Area. However, the total area they would allocate for convenience goods is 1,903 sq.m net, whereas the LMS proposed food store would have 1,650 sq.m net. There is therefore not a lot of difference in terms of convenience retail floor space, and it therefore follows that, as the LMS site is the most sequentially preferential site, that is where the new development should go.


I will not examine the tables on comparison retail, although clearly many of the comments made on the Convenience retail tables apply. It would appear that the WSCP proposals are projected to cause a 5% - 10% increase in comparison goods. My comments on this are fully set out in the section on comparison retail above and in the joint report of myself and Paul Beanland.


Conclusions on Impact


The question is: to what extent will retention be increased if the application is successful. In my view, it all boils down to common sense. WSCP has no direct access via Broughton Road to the A 64. The only way to get to it will be through a maze of busy narrow roads. What is proposed is in fact no better than a bog-standard TESCO superstore. Malton is situated between two sub-regional centres and several district centres. The sub-regioinal centres will always have a greater pull than a district centre like Malton. One has to ask: is it really likely that people who live beyond Paul Beanland’s “threshold” who do not normally shop in Malton/Norton would want to come to Malton just because there happens to be a bog-standard TESCO there? I would suggest this is most unlikely. What will happen then? The TESCO will do what TESCO’s always do: undercut the town centre shops and put their prices up after they have eliminated them – killing Malton Town Centre and damaging other town centres in the process.


The LMS site also has limitations in terms of access. However, one has to ask if a Waitrose or similar store were to be built there, would shoppers be attracted there who normally do not do their weekly shop in Malton? I would suggest that it would. People will go miles to shop at a Waitrose or similar store – because there are so few of them. Instead of having a main entrance which faces away from the town centre (as this application does), the store entrance will face down the Shambles and shoppers will be encouraged to visit the town. This would provide the boost the town needs to increase and improve the range and diversity of the goods it sells. It should also make the town more attractive to visitors.


Sustainable Development  considerations (NLP Paras 8.0 -8.26)


Firstly, employment: NLP set out figures of new jobs which they say will be created. However, these figures do not take into account the loss of employment occasioned by the number of businesses which will close if the application is implemented. This is clear because the application assumes a positive impact on the town centre.


It is also not clear if these figures take into account recent trends to computerise check-outs and other processes.


Further, in general employment projections of this kind do not take into account the known net negative impact of superstores on employment, which is not surprising bearing in mind that superstores work on the basis of economies of scale and central ordering. A simplistic statement that the new store will take onnew employees is not good enough. There should be a fully researched table showing the new jobs against those which will be lost.


Incidentally, it is most unlikely that local tradesmen and workmen will be used in building the store. All the information which I have received in regard to work carried out by large building contractors suggests they use their own workmen and tradesmen and bring these in from outside the district.


About 14 years ago, a research organisation called the National Retail Planning Forum – financed by Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Boots and John Lewis – published a report on superstores impact on employment. This found:

  • Strong evidence that new out-of-centre superstores have a negative net impact on retail employment up to 15 km away;
  • The 93 stores the forum studied were responsible for the net loss of 25,685 employees;
  • Every time a new supermarket opened, 276 people lost their job;
  • The New Economic Foundation has calculated that every £50,000 spent in small local shops creates one job, but you need to spend £250,000 in superstores for the same result.


Clearly, if the WSCP proposal is unlikely to bring new shoppers into the district, or only capture a limited number, the only way the store will survive is by taking trade from other outlets and so causing other businesses to close. As stated above, I do not believe that a bog-standard TESCO or similar store is going to attract many shoppers who don’t normally shop in Malton.


Secondly, there is a suggestion that competition will be improved. Malton already has a large Morrisons,  and smaller local Sainsbury, ASDA, Lidl and Costcutter supermarkets. Internet shopping provides further competition. Additionally, Ryedale residents have access to large supermarkets at Morrisons, Scarborough, ASDA (Monks Cross, York), and Tesco at Clifton Moor, York. There is no shortage of competiton for Ryedale residents, and in a country area such as Ryedale, where most people have to use a car, one would not expect to find all the competition in one place or in one town.


Further, there will be a loss of competition from town centre shops. Those that have their own specialisms (eg. the greengrocer who sells fresh fruit and vegetables which are local and in season, or the butcher who is a licensed dealer in game) will lose their bread and butter trade and be forced to close.


Further, even if it is accepted that a new superstore in Malton might improve the town centre, one still has to have regard to its position size and type. A supermarket which is not “one-stop” and is immediately adjacent to the town centre could indeed improve the range and diversity of other town centre shops, but the proposed store at WWSCP is a one-stop bog-standard superstore with a single vehicular access onto Pasture Lane which is at least 300m from the town centre commercial limits. Further, the main customer entrance faces away from the town centre and into the car park. Bearing in mind that most people using the store will be travelling by car, they will simply park their car, do their shopping and go home. So the proposals will not help improve the range and diversity of shops in Malton’s historic town centre.


Thirdly, there is the suggestion that a new petrol filling station will improve competition in fuel sales. This may be so, but one has to ask: would people prefer cheap petrol at the expense of seeing the heart ripped out of the community? There are also issues in regard to the location of the fuel station just outside a tall block of senior citizen flats, and whether or not there would be room for enough pumps to make cheap petrol sales possible. And in any case there are outlets for cheap fuel at Pickering, Kirby Moorside and East Knapton,

Further, it is understood TESCO’s fuel stations are not necessarily cheap. They seem to undercut the lowest local competition by 2%, and when thay have eliminated this, they put their prices up. This is why TESCO fuel prices vary from one store to another.


Fourthly, there is the suggestion that the “leakage” of trade will be reduced, which has been dealt with at length above and in the rest of my representations.


Fifthly, there is the claim that the proposal will provide 450 free car parking spaces. This is not accepted. The car park is already there. The Council could make it free at any time. However, the agreement for sale only requires the Council to make its retained top deck free for three hours. So, one can expect the Council to impose charges for all day car parking, when what local businesses need most in the town is all day car parking at no or low cost, so that their employees can park their cars while they work.


Sixthly, there is the claim that the proposed superstore will draw traffic from Morrisons and relieve congestion at Butchers’ Corner. However, if as they say, the proposed development will increase the number of customers coming into Malton, there is bound to be a net increase in traffic congestion overall.


Seventhly, there is the suggestion that the town will have the benefit of procurement, promotion and construction by a developer with a proven track record. Most peoples’ experience is that supermarkets and developers promote themselves and their developments – not the town where they build their developments.


Eighthly, they say their proposal is a high quality building. Perhaps if built in a city this might be true, but the proposed building is utilitarian in type and does not fit in well with traditional Malton buildings. Further it is to be built on stilts in a way which is quite out of character with the town.


Ninthly, I cannot see how the proposal will reduce carbon emissions, if the intention is to encourage people who live nearer York, Scarborough, Whitby, Driffield, Pocklington, Beverley, Thirsk and Easingwold to do their weekly shop in Malton.


It follows that there is very little evidence to support the contention that the proposed store will offer any potential benefits to the town, as argued by both Arup and RTP.


The following comments are made with specific reference to the NLP “update”:


Para.3.35 and other paras refer to pedestrian links with Malton Town Centre, and suggest the site is well-connected to the town. This is merely window-dressing. The main customer entrance of the store will face away from the town and onto the car park. The store operator is not going to want to encourage his customers to go elsewhere.


Similarly the “the dumpbell effect” is not realistic. People will park their cars in the car park, and will not want to walk a mile down the road to do some more shopping in Morrisons.




Appendix 3 is a copy of a report by a qualified drainage engineer. He does not want his name to become public, but this has been supplied to the Council’s Chief Executive who has a copy of the report.


Basically, Malton’s main sewer is a combined system, where surface water flows into the fowl water pipes whn full to overflowing. This brings raw sewage up into manholes. Foul air comes out of the surface water drains at Butcher Corner. WSCP is the lowest point in Malton.  Maps of Malton in the Nineteenth Century show a large pond in the middle of WSCP. In times of extreme weather, this re-appears on the car park, and the car park floods.

Presumably there are drains which lead into the combined mains.


Further the land is below the level of a new site for over 350 houses at the Broughton Road. Surface water drainage of this site is to be by ways of soakaways. These will drain into the substrata and it will have to be seen whether or not this may make WSCP more prone to flooding.


It is appreciated that there may be civil engineering solutions to all drainage issues. However, these can be expensive and will have a negative effect when TESCO finally return to the market and put this site through the same kind of “rigorous store analysis process” which Sainsbury’s say they used when they decided not to pursue this site.


Malton has a mediaeval system of narrow roads. It is connected to the A64 at Brambling Fields, Old Malton and York Road. There is therefore no direct vehicular access from the A 64 via Broughton Road. The STA gives a highly unrealistic and optimistic view of the town’s highways capacity. It was drawn to please the Council’s rural members, who wanted to divert unwanted new residential development from the villages into the towns. Appendix 4 attached contains my analysis of this, and shows how the figures have been manipulated to give the Council the answer they wanted.

Appendix 4  includes a copy of a statement by Alan Martin, an experienced highways engineer who managed development control for an area which included Ryedale district for 30 years. This shows just how bad the STA is.

Based on his calculations he and I came to the following conclusions in regard to the impact of new traffic which will come from the new planned development:

Ryedale District Plan

Analysis of new trips to be created by the Ryedale Plan in Malton/Norton, according to information provided by Alan Martin:

36ha employment land x 343.4                                                          12,362 daily trips

2,000 more houses (1,500 plus half

 the notional backlog and half the “buffer”) x 6                              12,000


Food retail: 1,890 x 115.2/100                                                2,177

Non-food retail 5,394 x 41.1/100                                                       2,217

Total Daily trips to be generated by new development                            28,756


These figures were put to the Council and the Local Plans Inspector. The Council said that the new developments would generate 4,027 new trips in the morning peak hour. As will be seen from the documents in Appendix 5, we were able to show that our estimate of 28,756 new trips was on the low side, and taking into account the different levels of traffic before and after peak periods, the total traffic increase was likely to be between 33,000 and 37,000 new daily trips. The Council would not accept this, and the inspector dismissed Alan Martin’s evidence as not based on up to date criteria.


The Local Plans Inspector admitted at the hearing into the local plan that he had no highways qualifications or expertise. Less weight should therefore be given to his opinions than to those of Alan Martin.


Clearly Malton is going to become a very congested town – not the kind of town which is ever likely to attract 85% of shoppers within NLP’s “Study Area” to a bog-standard TESCO or similar store in Malton.



Neither WSCP nor LMS sites has a retail operator who has taken a pre-let of a store. The only store chains which might be interested in the WSCP site are Sainsbury and TESCO, but Sainsbury have previously indicated that they are not interested, and in view of the difficulties of the site, particularly those highlighted by Sainsbury, it is unlikely that TESCO would take it on.

On the other hand, Waitrose were interested in the LMS site in 2007/2008. They were sufficiently interested to contribute to the design of the development proposed by the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate Company in their 2007 planning application.

 However, it is common ground between the parties at the LMS appeal that no operator for the LMS site will come forward while there is a threat of a superstore development on WSCP (LMS appeal decision letter, para 32)

The Landlord of most town centre shops is also the owner of the LMS site, and so has a vested interest in making the site work to the advantage of the town, whereas all the evidence suggests that the Council and the applicant are only interested in their own financial self-interest.

In my view for the reasons explained, there is no quantitative need for a new store on either site, but if this view is not accepted, there is an appeal decision which states that there is room for only one convenience retail outlet, and that LMS is the most sequentially preferable site.

There is, however, a qualitative need to provide a store as an anchor for Malton Town Centre shops. The LMS proposal will provide such an anchor, but the WSCP application will not.

The owner of the LMS site should be given a reasonable opportunity to get an operator for the LMS site, and every effort should be made to provide help and support and to remove or downgrade any impediments (eg, the Northern Arc) which might put prospective operators off. It would be unreasonable to revisit WSCP for several years, so as to give the LMS site a chance of success.

The application should therefore be refused.



COUNCILLOR PAUL ANDREWS                                                                17th January 2014

Malton Ward



































































































































































































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