I REFER to the recent articles on the highway issues.

This situation has been brewing for many years. In 2009 there was a consultation on the Ryedale Plan. Unfortunately, plans don’t get much publicity and they don’t attract public attention like planning applications do.

However once the plan is adopted, the rules are set in stone, and no matter how objectionable a planning application is, if it’s in the plan it has to be approved.

The Ryedale Plan determines that 50 per cent of all new dwellings and 80 per cent of all new employment development must be built in Malton and Norton.

This was always a nonsense and I campaigned vigorously against it at the time it was being considered. Sadly nobody took any notice, and the Highway Authority went along with what the council wanted.

Ryedale and County get government grants for every new house, and of course it’s easier and quicker to build hundreds of houses in Malton and Norton than to build small developments in the countryside and villages.

It hasn’t bothered the council’s administration that there isn’t the infrastructure to cope. They’ve only ever been interested in the financial interest of the council as a corporate body – the people they serve just haven’t mattered.

And then they decide to build another huge estate on the council office site – at the same time as the numbers of trains are about to increase.

The Ryedale Plan requires urgent revision.

Cllr Paul Andrews, Malton Ward, Ryedale District Council

Dangerous position

ON November 28, our MP Kevin Hollinrake voted in Parliament against banning the ownership of military grade assault rifles.

Senior officers have repeatedly called for a ban, warning that the police have no known protection against these higher-calibre weapons.

Initially in favour of the ban, the government backed down in the face of opposition from hard-right Tories.

Now we are left in a more dangerous position because the government has prioritised party politics over national security.

Perhaps Mr Hollinrake would be so good as to explain to his constituents why he was happy to vote against this ban?

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Do the maths

RE: Lorraine Allanson’s letter. One wonders why the “local estate owners and landed gentry” have done their own research, rather than listening to the “facts and science in relation to shale gas” according to our local expert, Ms Allanson. As a B&B proprietor, she must be the definitive source of expertise.

She desperately attempts to make fracking a party-political issue. I know of members of every political party that oppose fracking. The majority are highly qualified, intelligent, articulate people, who realise this is really an urgent cross-party global climate change issue.

There is an over-abundant supply of hydrocarbons being far more efficiently exploited worldwide for Ms Allanson’s home comforts, instead of scraping the bottom of the oil barrel with fracking, tar-sands etc.

The industry say it will take 10 to 15 years to establish the fracking industry. The IPCC say we have until 2030 to turn around climate change. Do the maths.

Developing renewables also “creates jobs, business investment and tax revenues” but with a fraction of the environmental damage and greenhouse gases. It just takes the right political will, investment and credible energy policy.

The current custodian of Castle Howard, Nick Howard, has long been concerned about the potential for seismicity affecting his many Grade I listed structures, along with future uninsurable liabilities resulting from fracking.

I imagine he will feel entirely justified in his well-informed opposition after yet another Cuadrilla fracking debacle in Lancashire with 36 induced seismic events from one test-frack, following a similar outcome in 2011.

How many seismic events does it take to burst an investment bubble?

Liberal Cllr Mike Potter, RDC Derwent Ward