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Concerns raised over Ryedale Plan decision
CONCERNS have been raised that the Ryedale Plan is to be adopted by the district council before the full period of public consultation is carried out.
Members have been recommended to approve the development plan for the area at the full meeting of Ryedale District Council tomorrow (Thursday).
However, district councillor Paul Andrews (Ind) said he understands that following the council’s May meeting, there would be a final six- week consultation before notice of adoption would be given.
He said: “The report makes no allowance for this final period of consultation, nor does it give members any opportunity to consider the representations made by the public to the council. In fact, this is a case where I feel the democratic process has been thoroughly undermined by officers. Since members approved the draft plan, no opportunity has been provided for members to debate the representations received from the public.”
He said: “It is a plan on which little consultation or public debate has been allowed. The public were never allowed to consider any option which did not put 90 per cent of new housing in the market towns.
“After the plan was published, it was put out to consultation. But council members have never been allowed to debate the public responses to that consultation.
“What is the point of a consultation, if the authority doing the consultation doesn’t want to know what people think?”
Coun Andrews said it was not a fair or good plan. He said: “People tend not to be interested in the plan- making process. They come into the process when it is too late and they realise, to their horror, that a new development is about to be permitted just down the road.
“The planners say their hands are tied by the plan and so somehow they are not responsible for the mess they have themselves created. No wonder people are so angry. No wonder Ryedale has sunk so low in public opinion.”
Coun David Lloyd-Williams, chairman of the Malton & Norton Area Partnership and a member of both town councils, said he had been one of those involved with supplying evidence to the inspector.
He said: “I am aware that his most recent report was still an interim report and that the amendments which have been made and accepted by the inspector still needed a further stage of public consultation prior to them becoming law.
“I understand the amendments were never properly given to members to fully debate and an undertaking was given to bring them back for debate prior to any final consultation process, which appears not to have happened.”
In a report to the council, Gary Housden, head of planning and housing, said a local planning authority was required to give notice of the adoption of a plan and statutory regulations were in place to cover this stage in the process.
He said: “This informs anyone with an interest in the plan that the document has been adopted and alerts them to modifications that have been made.
“The process also allows for any person aggrieved by the plan to mount a legal challenge to its adoption and to make an application to the High Court on the grounds that the plan is not within the appropriate power and/or that a procedural requirement has not been complied with. Any application to the High Court must be made within a six-week period from the date of adoption.”
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