The future look of Ryedale has been agreed by members of Ryedale District Council.
The Ryedale Plan or Local Plan Strategy was adopted at a meeting of the council – after some controversy.
There were calls to make amendments to the plan following the decision last week to greenlight a scheme which will see 260 homes built in Kirkbymoorside and fears that Malton and Norton will accept the bulk of the district’s housing in the future.
These amendments were thrown out, however, with council planners saying even a single change would mean the plan would have to go back to the drawing board – unravelling six years of work.
One of the key elements of the Ryedale Plan is to encourage new development and to manage future growth while ensuring that change across the district is based on a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
The details of the proposals came under scrutiny at a public examination by a Government Planning Inspector who recently gave the go-ahead for the plan to be adopted by the council.
The plan will help to support the delivery of new homes, jobs and shops so as to address the needs of local communities.
A report drawn up by officials at the council states that this will ensure the developments are carefully co-ordinated with the services and the facilities that communities rely upon and which are essential to well being and quality of life.
It sets out the amount of new housing, retail and employment development to take place in the district up to 2027 and provides a strategic framework to help local communities with their Neighbourhood Plans.
But speaking at Thursday’s meeting, Cllr Sarah Ward, a member of the Liberal Party, raised concerns surrounding the Gladman development in Kirkbymoorside which was given planning permission even though it went against the Ryedale Plan and its criteria that said the town should only host small or medium-sized developments.
“We need to have a plan we can be confident is right,” she said. “The decision of your committee last week demonstrated this is not a sound plan. It needs amending to reinforce the decision-making process of the planning committee.”
And independent Cllr Paul Andrews argued the plan was “completely unacceptable and utterly disgraceful” as it will mean Malton and Norton will take half of all new housing over the next 15 years without having the infrastructure in place, among other objections.
But their pleas mainly fell on deaf ears with all amendments lost and the Ryedale Plan adopted by the council by 18 votes to six.
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Linda Cowling, Leader of the Council, said: “This will give the council a clear picture of what we can and cannot do especially in terms of future developments.
“It points the way forward to ensuring that communities are balanced and sustainable over time.
“As well as providing new homes it will ensure a supply of land and buildings to support new and expanding businesses which will provide a greater range of employment opportunities especially in the type of economic activity that will help to improve wage levels.
“That will, in turn, improve the ability of local people to access the housing market and to be able to live and work locally.”