THE Gazette & Herald headline “All systems go for new Ryedale Business park” coincides with a planning application for a petrol station – clearly neither a business park nor a Food Enterprise Zone.

The Food Enterprise Zones (FEZ) are part of national funding to develop a series of sites: “that will unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the countryside and food producers are to be created.

The new zones will free up food and farming businesses, making it simpler and easier for them to grow, and will attract new businesses”.

FEZs will ensure that communities are able to grow their businesses while allowing them to protect their valuable countryside.

They will give power to local people – allowing them to decide what kinds of businesses should be in their FEZ and where it should be located, developing those areas that their region excels in.

As well as attracting investment, the Food Enterprise Zones will encourage closer ties between food and farming businesses to boost the domestic food and farming sector. (Source: Defra Feb 2015)

Rather than accept the “quick-fix” of an economic solution through a petrol station, Malton should have a Food Enterprise Zone - a petrol station falls far short of the ambitions above and Malton’s Food Capital reputation.

Leaving the fulfilment of this “entrepreneurial spirit” to a single developer is unlikely to achieve the intended aspirations. It needs the vounty vouncil, LEP, Malton Town Council, the Fitzwilliam Estate, local farming and food businesses, colleges and universities to work together imaginatively to create what the site could be. It won’t happen on its own; it will require collaborative effort and it probably needs a champion to make it happen.

If this seems “pie-in-the-sky”, it isn’t. Greater Lincolnshire has three Food Enterprise Zones which from the same modest funding as the Eden Business Park are attracting significant investment, businesses and universities to their sites.

Come on, where is our ambition?

Sam Hoste, Old Malton

Don’t scare gullible

THOUGH a resident of South Yorkshire, I am a frequent visitor to your area, so am interested in seeing its development.

A recent article in your paper about an ex-councillor’s opposition to fracking in the area caused me to pause - what is the basis for this retired GP’s stance?

It certainly cannot be claimed to be scientific, with its references to risk to health and driving climate breakdown: fracking has been performed for decades, with no harm to anyone, to date (unlike wind-farms, with over 130 casualties – some fatal – in the UK, alone).

Worldwide, it has been going on for around 100 years; in the UK, for at least 30 years – Wytch Farm, in Dorset has been fracking for that length of time.

As for “climate breakdown”. What on earth does he mean by that? Sure, climates are changing; but they have been changing since the dawn of time, so what is different about this time?

The only difference is that we are around to witness it; there is nothing that we can do to influence it, one way or the other, let alone address the implication that there is such a thing as a “perfect climate” that existed at some unspecified time

in the not-too-distant past, and we must somehow strive to return to


Fracking is essential for this country, for us to have an independent, stable, reliable source of inexpensive energy, so that we may continue to live as we have become accustomed to.

Can we ask this former councillor if he has given up any of the modern trappings that oil and gas have given us?

Until he gives up on all those, I suggest he keeps quiet and stop scaring the more gullible of your readers, and stop advocating the drive into fuel poverty that many who are not likely to have the pension that he is enjoying will endure.

Robert Payne, Doncaster