COUNCILLORS have deferred a decision on a controversial plan to change a potato store on the former Wombleton Airfield to a centre for handling, storing and distributing wood fuel.

The scheme had been recommended for approval by Ryedale District Council planning officers, but at last week’s meeting of the planning committee, members called for more information.

Coun Val Arnold said 90 per cent of residents in the area were against the plan because they feared it would result in the airfield becoming an industrial site.

She warned that heavy trucks going to and from the site would damage verges and narrow lanes which were regularly walked by the 45 local children going to school.

Dr Nigel Walters said wood was likely to be transported to the airfield from Scotland then re-distributed over a wide area, as far as Teesside. “It would be creating an HGV route on C-class roads,” he told the committee.

Coun Keith Knaggs described the venture as “The right idea but in the wrong place”.