A PLANNING for an asphalt plant at Whitewall Quarry in Norton has been deferred for the ninth time for further submissions to be considered.

Members of North Yorkshire County Council's planning committee had been due to discuss the application by W Clifford Watts yesterday, however, the earliest possible date the application will now be determined is December 16.

The latest delay follows a succession of deferments since October last year.

A spokesperson for the county council said: “ Following the receipt of late submissions from members of the public and other interested parties, the head of planning services made the decision to withdraw the item from the agenda for the planning committee meeting scheduled for October 21.

"This will allow the Authority to take the further submissions into consideration and allow the Applicant to have sight of, and formally respond to, the points raised in the latest submissions prior to the publication of a report for planning committee.

Councillor Luke Ives, Norton West Ward member for Ryedale District Council and member of Norton Action Group (NAG) said:

“A dark cloud has loomed over the town ever since the application was submitted last year, and the latest delay brings continued uncertainty to the local community.

" I just wish the county council would realise that the issues outstanding with the application will never be resolved, and refuse planning permission – sooner rather than later.

“It seems to be a never ending battle, but nevertheless I will continue to fight alongside Norton Action Group as hard as ever.”

Liz Johnson of Norton Action Group said: “Whitewall Wuarry is a completely unsuitable location to build an asphalt plant, and it would instead be better located at an industrial estate with easy access to the highway network. We urge the County Council to prevent the continued expansion of the quarry into a heavy industrial park.”