ABOUT 150 people joined a protest march against plans to build a supermarket on Wentworth Street car park, in Malton.
To chants of “Save our shops, save our jobs, save our town”, the protestors marched from the car park through the town on Saturday to the Market Place where a series of speeches were made.
Those joining the protest included members of MASS (Malton Against Superstore), Malton and Norton Chamber of Trade, as well town and district councillors, along with representative of the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate, which had a rival application to develop the livestock market approved by a planning inspector following a public inquiry.
The march was not with opposition, with one passer-by replying to the chants with, “We want a Tesco”, while another member of the public asked where the protestors expected people to shop with the increasing number of homes being built in Malton.
Denys Townsend, chairman of the Chamber of Trade, said: “Malton and Norton does not need another supermarket - we have sufficient to support to the town for the next 10 years. We will continue to fight to show Ryedale District Council that we do not want this monstrosity.”
District and county councillor Elizabeth Shields, who represents Norton, said: “Today, as you know, is March 15 - the Ides of March, in fact. This is the day on which Julius Caesar was murdered in the Senate House in Rome, 2,058 years ago. Wouldn’t it be good if we could get rid of some of the planning committee as easily as the Romans disposed of Julius Caesar?”
Fellow district councillor Edward Legard said: “There are some on Ryedale District Council who are working tirelessly to prevent this major threat. We will continue to fight to our last breath to ensure we do not get this.”
Joining the march was former TV presenter and journalist Selina Scott, who said Malton had been named this weekend as one of the best places to live in the country. “If we do not do something about this application we can kiss goodbye to that,” she said.
After the march a spokesman for developer GMI Holbeck Land said: “Already many people are travelling out of Ryedale to do their weekly shop.
“With more free car parking and a petrol station, we believe that our mid-sized family supermarket at Wentworth Street will encourage more people to shop in town.”
A date has yet to be set for Ryedale District Council’s committee to discuss the application.