Survey asks for views on major issues

Malton Market Place.
Malton Market Place.

HOPES of three long-running wrangles in the towns of Malton and Norton being finally resolved have been raised.

This is a result of them being given top priority in the biggest survey for decades.

The future of the Wentworth street car park; the pedestrianisation of Malton Market Place, and the sites for hundreds of new homes will all feature in the new survey.

Details of the options being put to the 17,000 residents in the towns are now dropping through letterboxes of businesses and homes and already a significant number have been returned to the two town council offices.

They form the backbone of the new Malton and Norton Neighbourhood Plan produced after a string of workshops masterminded by a wide range of civic and business leaders and heads of organisations.

The public are now being asked to decide list their options as follows:

○ WENTWORTH STREET CAR PARK – should it remain the same with improvements; being developed for a hotel, care homes, retailing, leisure centre, business park or mixed use?

○ HOUSING – what types of homes are needed in the towns: bungalows, semi-detached or terraced homes, special accommodation for the elderly, size; and whether house building should focus on owner-occupier, private rented, shared ownership?

○ MALTON MARKET PLACE – Should it remain as it is or be pedestrianised permanently, or just at certain times; should it have a bigger focus for social and leisure activities and should there be more parking for Blue Badge holders?

As well as the house-to-house questionnaires, the Neighbourhood Plan team is holding a community drop-in session at Norton Town Council Offices today (Thursday) from 10 am to 7pm. The consultation runs until Friday, February 15.

Coun David Lloyd-Williams, the chairman of the Plan Group, said the aim was to produce a blueprint which Ryedale District Council would take on board as part of its decision making in the future.

He said: “With the prospect of many more new homes being built will be the increased need for more infrastructure.”

The Neighbourhood Group has been given a £28,000 grant by the Government to bring the Plan to reality.

One proposal favoured by Coun Lloyd-Williams is that there should be more free parking to attract new shoppers, building on the successful initiative by the Fitzwilliam Estate which provides two hour free parking in several places in Malton.

Once the public have given their opinions a final report will be produced to go to RDC for it to be independently examined before being put to a public referendum.

Malton Town Mayor, Coun Paul Andrews, said: “We want to see a big response to the questionnaire.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to have a direct influence on the future of our towns and to help plan them for future generations.

“A great deal of hard work has been put into organising the Neighbourhood Plan and it’s now up to the public to speak up and share their views.”