The multi-million pound scheme to build a new Malton Livestock Market and business park has been recommended for approval by Malton Town Council – by a single vote.
Councillors were divided on the ambitious plan by the Fitz-william Trust Corporation to relocate the market from its headquarters of 80 years in the town centre, to a prime site alongside the Malton by-pass on the A64 road, near Eden Camp modern history museum, Old Malton.
There were also divisions on housing schemes, planned by the Corporation, to provide more than 300 new homes, to fund the building of the market and business park.
Cllr David Lloyd-Williams told the town authority that while he favoured the market scheme, he was “not enamoured” with the light industrial estate because it would be built on good agricultural land.
Cllr Paul Andrews said that while Ryedale District Council needed to have a five-year supply of building land available, it did not have to provide a five-year supply of employment land.
But Cllr Mike Knaggs said both developments should go-ahead because of their value to the Ryedale economy and it was vital that local farmers had a choice to sell their stock either through the market or as dead weight.
The business park was to accommodate agriculture-related businesses, he added.
The council agreed that a permanent pumping system should be incorporated in the scheme to keep Old Malton free from flooding.
He was backed by Cllr Ann Hopkinson who argued: “We need to pass the scheme to keep the market safe.”
Another plan to build 227 homes in Showfield Lane, Malton, almost suffered a setback. Councillors decided by a majority of five votes to three, that all the site should be built on.
Some members argued it would be an over-development of the site.
Cllr Andrews said there was already outstanding permission for 500 homes to be built in the area.
Members believe there will be a need for two new primary schools, one in Malton, the other at Norton, to cope with the children from the 1,500 homes due to be built around the towns, in the next 15 years under the new Ryedale Local Plan, the blueprint for development in the district.
Cllr Martin Dales suggested a new school could be built on the Malton School campus.
In addition, said Cllr Lloyd-Williams, the doctors’ surgery did not have the capacity to accommodate a potential further 2,000 patients.
Two other plans to build 35 homes at Westgate, Old Malton and 45 in Rainbow Lane, were also recommended for approval.
Ryedale District Council’s Planning Committee is expected to make a decision on the market scheme and the housing sites in the next few weeks.