MORE primary school places will be needed to meet demand as new homes in Ryedale put pressure on some already oversubscribed schools.

Malton and Norton could see new schools built due to the impact of about 1,500 new homes expected to be built, according to a North Yorkshire County Council report.

Distributed to the Ryedale Area Committee, strategic planning officer Andrew Dixon told councillors that the new housing developments in the two towns could see about 375 extra pupils needing school places.

Malton would be left with a shortfall of 284 places, while Norton would be 131 places short.

Despite Norton Primary School having undergone recent expansion, Mr Dixon said that further expansion would not be possible on the site.

“We have exhausted what we can do on that site,” he said.

“We continue to look for suitable sites, but we are, to a large degree, in the hands of the developers and the landowners.”

Pickering may also become home to a new school, with an expected shortfall of 155 places, with 750 proposed developments, some of which are yet to be granted planning permission.

In his report, Mr Dixon said: “We continue to work with the schools and Ryedale District Council to determine whether or not there will be a requirement to provide a new school site in Pickering.”

Councillors Lindsay Burr and Councillor Elizabeth Shields, for Malton and Norton, raised concerns regarding the impact on the schools and called for a strategy to be put in place.

Councillor Burr said: “Sometimes it is like putting the cart before the horse.

“I am wondering if there is any way we could have a little bit more joined-up thinking.”

At least 3,000 new homes are expected to be built across Ryedale from now until 2027 as part of the Local Plan Strategy Development Plan, which has been adopted by Ryedale District Council.

The report also suggested that Kirkbymoorside Primary School could be expanded without having to relocate the school and Helmsley Primary School would be kept under review because the council believes it will currently be able to cope with the increase in pupils from the proposed 150 housing units.