D-Day beckons for one of the most important – and controversial – planning applications in the history of the district of Ryedale.
Opponents and supporters of the proposals to develop Wentworth Street Car Park in Malton are expected to descend en-masse when Ryedale District Council’s Planning Committee discusses the application at Malton School on Thursday April 24, at 6pm.
They will debate and decide whether to approve the application from GMI Holbeck which wants to build a food store on the site as well as provide a public piazza, three hours free parking and a petrol station selling fuel which is cheaper than currently offered in Ryedale.
The developer argues that its plans will benefit Malton by attracting and retaining shoppers from all over Ryedale – instead of seeing them travel to Scarborough and York.
It would also mean a £5 million cash windfall for Ryedale District Council, the owners of the car park.
But opponents against the development argue the application should be turned down as it will have a detrimental impact on local businesses, is too far away from Malton’s Market Place, and because the council has a “vested financial interest” in the sale, among other reasons.
They are also being urged to attend the meeting at the end of the month to show the strength of feeling against the plans.
Ryedale Cllr Paul Andrews, one of the leading campaigners against the development, said: “It is most important that as many people as possible can get to the meeting to show Ryedale District Council their opposition to the proposals.
“I have seen no final report yet, I don’t know what it says, but the one report I have seen I find very disappointing as it makes recommendations contrary to what an initial public inspector decided at a full public inquiry when the matter was debated.
“If this matter goes through and goes to court again, it will be a great pity that councillors who voted for it cannot be accountable for the costs the public will have to pay.”
A final report to the committee, including a recommendation on whether councillors should approve or reject the application, will be revealed in the week leading up the meeting.
All are welcome to attend the meeting.