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Battle Over Planned Malton Supermarket Heads to Court

Wentworth Street Plan 200214 Malton

12:42pm 27th October 2014

Plans to build a new supermarket on Wentworth Street car park in Malton are set to spend the next six months in a court battle.

The Fitzwilliam Estate is calling for judges in the Planning Court to look again at the decision made by Ryedale Council to grant planning permission to build on the site, in what's known as a Judicial Review.

The Estate has argued that it's own plans to build a Booths supermarket on Malton's Livestock Market would be put at risk by a new supermarket on the Wentworth Street car park. However, Ryedale Council has in the past argued that a new supermarket on the Wentworth Street site would be of benefit to Malton.

Roddy Bushell, Estate Manager of Fitzwilliam Malton Estate, said:

“A judicial review is the only way Malton Estate can show that the Councillors’ decision was taken on what I believe to be inadequate and wrong advice and it is therefore an unlawful decision which should not stand."

“This matter is of great concern to Malton as the flawed planning consent for a speculative development is creating uncertainty, which in turn is preventing real investment in the town. The Estate and Booths are prepared to invest around £15m in the town centre livestock market site. However, this will not proceed while there is this uncertainty hanging over the future of a possible new superstore nearby.”

“Of course there is a quick resolution available. RDC should take independent legal advice that will tell them that this is a mirror image of what happened after the last time they tried to give consent on this site; when on appeal, they accepted their decision was flawed and they had to pay the Estate’s legal fees. The same result is likely again, and yet RDC could accept it, without a court judge having to tell them, so the town can move on."

“Indeed, it is irresponsible if RDC do not accept their decision is flawed. They are the stewards of the local economy and it goes against every test of public opinion for them to continue to prevent investment in the town in favour of a speculative development, of their own site, that looks as though it will never happen now that Tesco plc has run out of funds to develop new stores."

If the Planning Court agrees that there is good cause to review the decision, then the process could be completed within six months. Malton will be relieved that a resolution can be expected to this long-running saga within a few months, come what may. Let us not forget that RDC could end the matter right away by accepting their Councillors’ decision was flawed due it being based on inadequate advice.”

Ryedale Council told Minster FM in a statement:

"The District Council has not received all the court papers relating to the attempt by the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate to quash the retail planning permission and thus prevent the redevelopment of Wentworth Street Car Park Malton  with a supermarket and fuel station."

"The Council will seek independent specialist legal advice once it has received all the Court papers. It would be inappropriate and premature to comment on the case prior to receiving legal advice on the merits of the Estates legal challenge."

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