THE decision by the Injured Jockeys Fund to build its northern rehabilitation centre in Malton is very good news, both for injured jockeys and for Malton and the surrounding area.

There is, however, one area of concern among many of us and that is its proposed location on the field in front of Malton Rugby Club, between Old Malton Road and the club.

Firstly, it is agricultural land and in use as such.

Secondly, in the newly-published Ryedale Plan, it expressly states the district council’s desire to “protect the sweeping belt of strategic open space and recreation land between Old Malton Road and the River Derwent,” and to “avoid coalescence with Old Malton to ensure the village remains legible in its own right.”

(p.35) Finally, it is one of the great landscapes in our town and always has been used for farming or recreational use.

I am aware that the Injured Jockeys Fund looked at a number of other sites, including the abandoned business park development at Manor Farm, Old Malton, where much infrastructure work took place prior to the developer’s demise. I would like to suggest that the fund revisits places such as Manor Farm. The latter would be a particularly appropriate location for the centre as I understand it was the site of Earl Fitzwilliam’s stud many years ago.