PLANS for an asphalt production plant at Whitewall Quarry, in Norton, have been recommended for refusal by Ryedale District Council.

The authority’s planning committee unanimously voted against the application before a packed room of protestors on Tuesday night.

About 80 objectors attended the meeting to demonstrate their concerns about the plans by W Clifford Watts to create the plant at its existing quarry on the outskirts of Norton. The matter had been referred to the district council for a formal response following concerns relating to noise, emissions and traffic.

Addressing the meeting, district councillor Luke Ives, a member of Norton Action Group (NAG), said: “Quite simply, the proposed asphalt plant is in the wrong location, and this gives rise to many conflicts with national, county and local planning policies.

"It has been already been acknowledged by highways that the quarry poses a threat to the Malton Air Quality Management Area, hence the proposed traffic routing plan. However, this is wholly undermined by the existing operations on the quarry that are uncapped, unmonitored and uncontrolled.

“In addition, the vast majority of lorries from the site will commute along tranquil Welham Road, and rip through the heart of Norton’s high street. Asphalt is known to have a fetid, petroliferous odour and this will permeate from the lorries; which along with their noise and congestion, will substantially deteriorate the amenity of town.”

NAG member Liz Johnson said: “It is in an unsuitable and unacceptable location, which will have a detrimental impact on Malton and Norton both now and in the years to come.”

Fiona Campion, wife of racehorse trainer, Mark, said the plant would have a devastating impact on the town’s 200 year old racing industry.

“The racing stables contribute over £20m to the local economy and supports more than 200 jobs, along with many others in supporting businesses such as vets and saddlers,” she said.

“The horses training here require quality air and there are a number of concerns about effects of emissions and also the perceptions of the emissions on racehorse owners.”

Councillor Lindsay Burr said: “This will have a negative impact on the town and surrounding area.”

Councillor Caroline Goodrick said: “This is the wrong place. Also, the racehorse trainers have worked hard to attract owners and the economic impact will be huge if owners decide not to bring their horses here. It will be a black mark if this goes ahead.”

North Yorkshire County Council is due to make a decision on the application at a meeting on May 13.