YOUR article about the new petrol station at Eden Camp (December 4) was in itself good news, but it also highlights the incompetence of Ryedale District Council as a planning authority.

When I and the two town councils proposed the Eden Farm site for a filling station at a recent BP planning inquiry, we were told by the inspector the site was not available as it had already been allocated for warehouse use.

When I explained its advantages over the site in Welham Road, the BP consultants stated that it could not be considered because it was a “rural” site and the town needed an “urban” site.

When I explained this was a planning nonsense, the district council officers at the inquiry agreed with the inspector and the BP site was approved.

So now we have two filling station sites, one of which is appallingly located, and the other which

will probably result in more congestion.

It is particularly galling to see Cllr Keane Duncan now extolling the advantages of the Eden Farm site when he and his officers did nothing to support the town councils in their courageous attempt to achieve a proper planning outcome for Malton and Norton.

No wonder the planning authority is held in so little regard by local residents.

Michael Gwilliam, Norton

Book is blueprint

The book A Superstore Too Far by Emma Brooksbank was launched last week.

The 347 pages represent a meticulously and detailed account of the battle which raged over the years 2005 to 2015 to save our historic market town of Malton from the imposition of a mega supermarket. A compelling read.

Throughout this period the Ryedale District Council lead by the Conservative councillors took a wholly intransigent stand against the wishes of a large majority of the inhabitants of Malton and Norton to sell the Wentworth Street car park to developers for a sum of £6 million.

These proceedings were headed by two successive chairmen - the late Cllr Knaggs, followed by Cllr Linda Cowling, aided and abetted by planning officers - the chief executive officer Janet Waggott and a raft of Conservative councillors named in the book.

During this period two legal cases against the RDC were brought by the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate.

The judges in both cases ruled against the RDC leaving the council with huge costs of over £2 million.

In my humble opinion this book should act as a blueprint for anyone aspiring to become a district or a county councillor - so that such reprehensible actions shall never again be repeated in local government.

Ann Cleverly, Settrington

Tremendous night

I WOULD like to thank everyone who supported our wine tasting event at the Milton Rooms in Malton.

We had a tremendous evening with 158 wines to taste and raised £1,700 for our two charities - St Catherine’s Hospice and New Futures Nepal.

To make sure you don’t miss it next year, make a note of Thursday, November 19, 2020, on your calendar.

We look forward to seeing you all in our shop before then.

Paul Tate-Smith, Malton