QUESTIONS are to be raised at tomorrow’s (Thursday) meeting of Ryedale District Council over the costs and implications of the Wentworth Street and livestock market planning applications and subsequent appeal decision.

Coun Edward Legard (Con) and Coun Paul Andrews (Ind) are to question the chairman of the policy and resources committee, Coun Geoff Acomb (Con) and the leader of the council, Coun Linda Cowling (Con) on the legal and administrative costs of dealing with the applications and the Fitzwilliam Estate's successful planning appeal over its scheme for the livestock market site.

In addition, they are questioning the advice given by consultants and whether officers were “pressured to give inappropriate advice”.

Coun Andrews said he was raising the questions as there was a strong feeling in the town that “heads should roll”.

He said: “At the public enquiry into the livestock market application, the council’s consultant, engaged at the taxpayer’s expense, was forced to agree, under cross-examination, that the advice they had given was wrong because the cattle market and not Wentworth Street car park should have been recommended as the preferred sequential site for new shopping development. The inspector said there was no excuse for this advice and ordered the council to pay the Fitzwilliam Estate’s costs which are expected to be about £200,000 of taxpayers’ money.”

Coun Andrews said this vindicated the view of the Malton and Norton Neighbourhood Plan and the public consultation which was carried out in connection with this.