Campaigners have suffered a hammer blow in their battle to halt plans to build a supermarket on a Malton car park.
Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has decided not to “call in” the planning applications surrounding Wentworth Street Car Park.
Explaining his decision, he said: “The power to call in a case will only be used very selectively, and that planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.”
Campaigners, who had argued the development was not needed, had hoped he would “call in” the applications and, after an independent review, overturn a decision by Ryedale District Council’s Planning Committee to grant planning permission for a superstore on Wentworth Street Car Park.
They said that Malton already had one of largest Morrisons stores in the north of England and several smaller outlets. But Cllr John Raper, chairman of the committee, said: “Following a detailed assessment by the Secretary of State, this announcement justifies the decision and approach taken by Ryedale District Council as the local planning authority.”
More than 2,000 people, including Scarborough-born broadcaster Selina Scott, who lives near the town, had signed a petition opposing the Wentworth Street development.