MARCH 29 is decision day for Malton when councillors will vote on the controversial proposals for Wentworth Street car park and plans to develop the cattle market site.

The planning committee is meeting at the Milton Rooms, in Malton, rather than the council offices to make room for the size of crowd expected to flood the public gallery.

Ryedale District Council wants to sell part of the car park to Leeds company GMI Holbeck, which wants to build a supermarket on the site.

The scheme has been at the centre of a long-running wrangle between the authority, town traders and local landowner the Fitzwilliam Estate, who claim that a large supermarket will damage the viability of existing shops in Malton and remove car park spaces.

Fitzwilliam Estate, meanwhile, is seeking permission to build a retail development and courtyard complex on the site of the livestock market, which is expected to move to an alternative site in Showfield Lane.

Last week, Malton Town Council met Emma Lancaster and Andy Wainwright, planning officers with East Yorkshire Council, who, as case officers, are assessing the two applications at the request of Ryedale District Council, prior to the March 29 meeting. Ryedale brought in the officers to study the plans because it owns the Wentworth Street site.

Town clerk Mike Skehan said: “We had a very useful meeting with them where councillors expressed their views.” He said the town council had already said it opposed the Wentworth Street scheme because another supermarket would have a major detrimental impact on the town’s economy.

He said: “Our views reflected those of the public when an exhibition and request for feedback from the public was held some time ago.”