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Malton Livestock Market to be demolished
CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish Malton Livestock Market and replace it with a retail unit and car park have been given the green light.
Just five weeks after hearing a five-day public inquiry into the Fitzwilliam Estate’s appeal against Ryedale District Council’s refusal of the proposal, government planning inspector, David Wildsmith, has now said the scheme can go ahead.
He said: “The fact there would be good linkages between a development on the site and the town centre, I consider it reasonable to assume that the appeal proposal would strengthen and enhance the town centre, rather than adversely impact on it.”
The development, which will cover a nine-hectare site, will include a three-deck car park, a main retail unit, which is being promoted as a ‘high quality foodstore’, and three smaller units.
When the district council planning committee turned down the application last March, councillors also approved plans to develop part of the Wentworth Street car park site into supermarket – but it now has to reconsider that decision, said Mr Wildsmith.
He added that the estate was under no obligation to fund an alternative site for the livestock market.
Although the market is “undoubtedly valued”, said Mr Wildsmith, no factual evidence had been put to him to show the importance of the “social and economic fabric of the area as claimed by the council”.
Roddy Bushell, agent for the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate, said: “I am sure the large majority of the people of Malton, residents and businesses alike, will be relieved by this historic decision.
“The very important livestock market site can now be transformed from a use which is no longer appropriate, to expand Malton’s town centre and play a vital role in its economic future.
“It was daunting for the small team at the estate office to take a complicated development application to appeal. The information needed is vast and the costs huge.
“I am enormously relieved to have achieved the right result. The original decision was so perverse and likely to be so damaging to the future of the town and the estate, that we had no choice but to launch the appeal.”
Mr Bushell said: “We have put the heart back into the future of Malton. This project is a fine example of how the estate’s interests chime with those of Malton. It has been very heartening to have had the overwhelming support of the townspeople, traders and Malton and Norton town councils.”
He added: “The saddest aspect of this decision is that it means the council was wrong to oppose the original application made by the estate for the site in 2007. Five years, hundreds of man hours and hundreds of thousands of pounds have been wasted since then, that should have been put to good use in the town.
“I hope this will be the signal for the council to put aside its own agenda and truly listen to what the Malton community has made it clear, it wants for its town.”
In a statement, the district council, which will have to fund the costs of the inquiry, said it acknowledged the decision of the planning inspectorate in allowing the appeal.
A spokesman said: “Officers are currently evaluating the 24-page decision and the various limitations placed on the development and the implications on the Wentworth Street proposals which the council has already acknowledged will need to be considered again by the planning committee.”
James Stephenson of Boulton and Cooper, the auctioneers at the livestock market, said he would be making a statement when he had had an opportunity to study the report in detail and discuss the way forward with others involved with the market.
Denys Townsend, chairman, of Malton and Norton Business in Action, said: “We welcome this decision as being the right one for the town. The prospect of redeveloping the livestock market site will enhance the whole centre development.”
He added: “As far as the Wentworth Street car park is concerned, in view of the significant amount of retail development that has been granted on the market site, it is difficult to see how any retail development at the car park can go forward.”