Ryedale District Council voted, as predicted, last Thursday to give planning permission for a new superstore on Wentworth Street car park (WWSCP) in Malton and to refuse permission for the redevelopment of the Cattle Market.
It was clear from the very moment the chairman moved the officers’ recommendation before the debate had even started that this result had been stitched up well in advance – something the public were not slow to pick up, and which roundly deserved their jeers and shouts.
It was a shameful display of sheer arrogance from a political leadership which will not listen and does not want to listen to understandable public concerns. For Ryedale’s political leadership, power is more important than careful consideration or logical argument.
Ryedale’s Conservative council group is beginning to look like a hated nasty party. If these decisions are implemented, it will wipe out most of the shops in all Ryedale towns.
Fortunately, this is not the end. There is a right of appeal against the Cattle Market decision, and the Secretary of State could yet call the WWSCP decision in so that it would come before a public inquiry. If all else fails there is the possibility of judicial review.
The only body with the resources to take the council to court is the Fitzwilliam Estate. They have taken rents from their Malton shops for years, and I believe they are honour-bound to support their tenants when faced with major threats of this kind.
It is now up to them to defend the interest of the business community in Malton – for the benefit of the business community throughout Ryedale.