CAMPAGINERS against plans to develop a superstore and petrol station on the Wentworth Street car park in Malton are to hold a march through the town on Saturday after failing in a bid to have the full Ryedale District Council vote on the plans.
A motion was put forward at last Thursday’s full council meeting arguing that it was not right to leave such a contentious issue to the council’s planning committee where members of Malton and Norton were under represented.
But opponents branded the move as an insult to members of the committee. There was also concern that such a move could lead to more expensive legal arguments.
The motion was put forward by Councillor Paul Andrews and seconded by Councillor Lindsay Burr, but it was defeated by 15 votes to 12.
Before the meeting began more than 30 people protested outside with placards saying “Save Our Shops”. They included councillors, traders, residents and representatives of Fitzwilliam Malton Estate, which has had a rival application to develop the livestock market approved by a planning inspector following a public inquiry.
The committee chairwoman, Councillor Janet Frank, stressed the debate should centre on whether it was appropriate for the full council to discuss the issue rather than the planning committee and at that stage they were not there to discuss the merits of the application.
Coun Burr said that as it involved selling one of the council’s assets, it would be more democratic for all the district’s councillors to take the decision.
But Councillor Caroline Goodrick said the about proposal: “It questions the integrity and honesty of every hard working member of the planning committee and personally I find it offensive.”
Speaking after the meeting Coun Andrews said: “Clearly it is up to all council taxpayers to demonstrate and show the council we will not accept this wanton abuse of power .
It is important that as many people as possible turn up to the march.”
The march will take place on Saturday, starting at 10.30am from Wentworth Street car park.