THE planning application for the asphalt plant at Whitewall Quarry, in Norton, has been deferred – for the eighth time.

Members of the county council’s planning committee had been due to discuss the application by W Clifford Watts yesterday (Tuesday). However, the earliest possible date that the application will now be determined is October 21.

This latest delay follows a succession of deferments since October last year.

More than 160 letters of objection have been made against the application from local residents, highway users and the horse-racing industry.

Norton Town Council and Ryedale District Council have both recommended the application be refused. In addition, a group of residents formed in response to the application – Norton Action Group (NAG) – have campaigned against the proposed development.

Councillor Luke Ives, Norton West Ward member for Ryedale District Council and member of NAG, said: “There seems to be a sense of déjà vu with this latest delay. It is now a year since the community became aware of the application and a dark cloud has loomed over the town ever since.

“There are still many issues outstanding with the application, such as noise, traffic and pollution, although in reality, these will never be resolved at the development’s location. I hope that North Yorkshire County Council will realise this impossibility and refuse the application – sooner rather than later.”

Celia Knott, of Norton Action Group, said: “Whitewall Quarry is a completely unacceptable location for an asphalt plant. An asphalt plant will impact the local area with increases in traffic, harmful emissions and unacceptable noise levels together with a significant threat to the local horse racing industry.

“This latest delay continues to bring uncertainty to the local community whilst we wait for a decision.”