Superstore plan given go-ahead

THE long-running dispute over the future business shape of Malton has come to ahead during a stormy meeting.

Around 200 people packed into the Milton Rooms, Malton, as Ryedale District Council’s planning committee ran the rule over two planning applications.

The committee approved an application from GMI Holbeck Ltd to build a new superstore on Wentworth Street car park, subject to the Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities confirming it does not need to be referred to him.

But it turned down the plans from the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate to build a medium-sized store and other retail units on Malton Livestock Market.

Both decisions were jeered by a majority of the public in attendance.

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.

Campaigners had argued the development was not needed.

They said that Malton already had one of largest Morrisons stores in the north of England and several smaller outlets.

The controversy over the superstore was even raised briefly at the annual conference of the Federation of Small Businesses at Scarborough Spa last weekend during a discussion involving Ms Scott and two MPs over a variety of issues when she accused the council of being anti-democratic.

She feared for the knock-on effect on smaller shops. “It is incomprehensible to be making such a decision when superstores have been destroying the fabric of our society,” she said.

It has not been confirmed which supermarket chain might be interested in acquiring the site.