Prince’s vision on its way to Yorkshire

Poundbury village, near Dorchester. PIC: Geoff Moore/Rex Features
Poundbury village, near Dorchester. PIC: Geoff Moore/Rex Features
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A SCHEME based on Prince Charles’s vision of the perfect British town, Poundbury in Dorset, has moved a step closer to reality in North Yorkshire.

The Fitzwilliam Estate’s project to build 500 homes, together with business units and green spaces, on the outskirts of Malton has been recommended for approval by town councillors, with a final decision due to be made by Ryedale District Council in October.

The scheme, to be known as High Malton, has been designed by Leon Krier, who was responsible for the Poundbury development in Dorset, and architect Jan Maciag.

But councillors and residents who attended a meeting at Ryedale House in Malton heard fears the development, on land north of Castle Howard Road, would increase the size of the historic market town by 23 per cent and cause potential traffic gridlock in its centre.

Christopher Turner, representing Malton Residents’ Association, stressed that a traffic survey was needed to judge the development’s potential impact claiming it could create up to an extra 1,000 car journeys a day.

“An alternative traffic system is needed,” he added.

The development would also “worsen Malton’s town centre air quality” because of the volume of extra traffic said Mr Turner.

His concerns were echoed by Coun Paul Andrews, who said: “It will turn Malton into a traffic jam. The town doesn’t have the infrastructure to cope with 500 more homes.”

But Coun Denys Townsend believed it would significantly benefit Malton’s economy, adding: “Most independent businesses in the town are struggling. This development will provide new footfall and will benefit the local economy.”

Malton, he added, needed to progress, and said: “It needs to expand to enhance its future viability.”

While the town council gave its approval in principle, it urged Ryedale District Council to impose conditions including a new access road linking Castle Howard Road and York Road, for land to be earmarked for a new school, and consideration given to healthcare needs as a local doctors’ surgery was already operating at capacity.

Kim Stowe, managing director of Zero C, of Dorchester, a design-led development company, said it was committed to developing the site in partnership with the Fitzwilliam Estate.

“We are in little doubt that the quality of the public realm, the master plan and architecture that are being proposed, will all play a part in ensuring the long term success of this very well conceived scheme,” he added.

Fitzwilliam Malton Estate’s manager, Roddy Bushell, said: “This proposed development is not just another large housing estate.

“Whilst the application for outline consent will be for the whole area so that the community can assess the full effects of the proposals over time, the intention is to build this slowly over eight years. This will mean that the impact of the development will grow in sequence with Malton’s infrastructure.”

He said it was hoped building in smaller stages meant that smaller, more local builders could be used.