OPPONENTS of a major housing and development scheme for a North Yorkshire town have written to the district council detailing their objections to the plans.

The Fitzwilliam Malton Estate has a outline planning application for a 500 new homes on the north of the town, as well as a residential care home, business units, shops and community facilities, before Ryedale District Council.

The scheme has been designed by the planner behind Prince Charles' model town at Poundbury, but the High Malton development has provoked fierce resistance from people in the town worried about its effect on traffic and services locally.

The West Malton Residents' Group has written to the planning department of Ryedale District Council outlining its concerns.

They are worried that 500 new homes will bring considerably more traffic to the area, and cause congestions problems close by and between the new development's junctions with Castle Howard Road and the centre of Malton.

But Fitzwilliam Malton Estate has spoken to reassure people the development will be high quality and will leave a legacy for the town.

The estate's surveyor Tobias Burckhardt there was no risk of the estate selling the land to a high volume house builder if planning permission is granted.

He said: "We are determined to stick with this development to see the special design and ethos through the completion."

Ryedale District Council's own Strategic Traffic Assessment shows that area of Malton can accommodate development and the traffic it will bring added and pre application talks with the county council's roads department have been positive about road network's ability to cope, Mr Burckhardt.

The development will have access onto Castle Howard road and limited access onto Middlecave Drive, but no new access points onto the A64, which borders its western edge.

The residents' group has also voiced concerns about the impact the edge-of-town development will have on the nearby Howardian Hill AONB, and the western approach to Malton, as well as the loss of agricultural land to the buildings and problems of overlooking and lack of privacy that could be caused by new homes being build close to existing homes around Middlecave Road.