TOMORROW evening the Milton Rooms will see a pretty momentous debate on planning policy which is going to touch the lives of most of us in one form or another.

It is not only the citizens of Malton and Norton that will have to live with the consequences of tomorrow night’s decision, but also the farmers of our region who stand to lose the last auction market in Ryedale.

Unfortunately, there are only two planning applications currently in front of the planning committee:

• The first is the proposal by the Fitzwilliam Estate to redevelop the existing market site and, while I agree with the principles of redevelopment, I don’t accept that the present plans provide the best solution for either the town or the country.

In that location, a supermarket – for that is what it is – could have more detrimental impact upon other retail outlets in the town than if located away from the town centre.

A multi-storey car park is not going to entice shoppers who are accustomed to wheeling trolleys across car parks.

There is no provision for relocating the livestock market; and I generally think the Estate’s plans need redrafting. Rejection is the recommendation of the council’s officers.

• The second application is for a more substantial supermarket on Wentworth Street car park and the arguments against this have been well rehearsed.

The store will have to be of decked construction which is expensive to build and operate. The access to Wentworth Street is horribly deficient to say the least. The rewards to the council for selling off the family silver are not sufficient to compensate for the loss of a major longstay car park which we shall need if and when the town’s revival comes about.

Finally, the offer from the council to assist financially with relocating the cattle market is welcome but they are not able to provide a site and the Farmers’ Company would struggle with its budget.

Nevertheless, this application is being recommended for acceptance by the officers.

I would urge all councillors to remember that there is still a third option available, the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation, a different branch of the Fitzwilliam family to the Estate, and Simons, a reputable developer have not withdrawn and having had discussions with them their intentions are to submit their proposals to the council.

They want to do this after further liaison with Malton Town Council so that they work together through the preparation of the neighbourhood planning process, ensuring that proper public consultations achieve the maximum benefit for all of us.

The Trust not only owns the Showfield in Pasture Lane but also land outside the bypass in the Eden Camp area either side of the Pickering road. My understanding is that the Trust, in conjunction with Simons, is still prepared to consider relocating the existing cattle market as part of their proposal.

Hopefully, members will bear this in mind when making their decision.

I referred last week to the Trust’s pending application being akin to the chief guest being absent from the feast. After my conversations this week, the chief guest is on his way but held up in traffic and the decision to start the meal has only to be postponed for a short while.

Surely this is the responsibility and duty of our elected members.

• On the eve of our planning committee deciding on planning consents which will directly affect the future of the livestock market, it was a happy coincidence that we saw the largest show of sheep in Malton for many a year. There were nearly 4,000 sheep on offer and no other market could boast this sort of number. What a tragedy if we were to lose this marketing facility for a region that is so dominated by agriculture.


Forward 73 cattle including 17 OTMs and 16 bulls 3630 sheep, including 19 lambs and 229 ewes, medium steers to 226.50p, A L Bosomworth, Thornton-le-Dale, ave 206p, heavy steers to 214.5p, C F Beal, Yedingham, ave 207p; light bulls to 139.5p, D Allen, Pickering, ave 130.6p; medium bulls to 207.5p, G E and RGP Mason, West Heslerton, ave 192.7p; heavy bulls to 175.5p, R & EM & AJ, Hollings, Hollingarth Farm, ave 168p; medium heifers to 238.5p, G I Marwood, Harome, ave 211p; heavy heifers to 241.5p, J & R, Waind, Brawby, ave 210.7p; Cows to 173.5p P R Boyes, Marishes, ave 141.5p; medium lambs to 273p (£111) C Mudd, Brompton-By- Sawdon, ave 266.9p; heavy lambs to 256p (£120), S T Stephenson, Marton Lane, ave 244.2p; overweight lambs to 251p (£133) S T Stephenson, Marton Lane, ave 250.9p; light hoggs to 225p (£66) S Burdett, Norton, ave 218p; standard hoggs to 235p (£83) AM and SM Avison, Marishes, ave 218p; medium hoggs to 233p (£87) C S Southwell & Sons, Burton Fleming, ave 204p; heavy hoggs to 211p (£90) C R Towse, Bridlington, ave 183.7p; overweight hoggs to 194p (£97) Wytherstone Farms, Pockley, ave 169.6p; ewes to £145 M T Bulmer, Salton, ave £96.85.