THE new Development Plan for Ryedale up to 2027 is a step closer to being finalised.
As part of the formal examination of the plan, Stephen Pratt, the planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to scrutinise the document, has released his interim conclusions, following the public inquiry in October.
Mr Pratt has confirmed that key strategic policies of the plan, such as its approach to the location and distribution of development, seem appropriate for Ryedale.
But he has some concerns with the housing policies put forward, which relate to housing land supply and the level of new house building proposed, as these are below latest national projections.
He has asked Ryedale District Council to consider making changes in order to address his concerns.
“The inspector has completely ignored it – so much for “localism”,” he added.
“The word localism would appear to mean nothing more than the almost complete abdication of responsibility by central government to district planning authorities. The opinions of local residents of communities like Malton and Norton simply don’t matter.”
Coun Andrews said the inspector’s main concern seemed to have been, – as was evident at the hearing – to increase the number of new houses.
“The number proposed by the council was a total of 3,000. To this should be added a 20 per cent “buffer” of 600 houses and a “backlog” of more than 500,” he said.
“Malton and Norton is expected to accommodate 50 per cent of all new housing – in excess of 2,000 houses.”
Coun Andrews said the inspector also seemed to have left the employment section intact, so that Malton and Norton would take 80 per cent of all new employment development.
“This gives the green light for the development of the land at Riggs Road/Eden Road adjacent to Eden Camp, although, as I have mentioned before, it is more likely that this land will be made available for housing/commercial development instead of employment,” he added.
“The council is now required to make some final amendments to the plan, and then to consult on the plan as amended. After the consultation finishes, the council is able to adopt the plan, if politically that is what they want to do.”
The interim conclusions are available for information on Ryedale District Council’s website http://ldf.ryedale.gov.uk
The council will consult on proposed changes to the plan early in the new year for a six-week period and details of the consultation will be made available in January.
All comments received as part of the forthcoming consultation will be forwarded to the inspector for his consideration and to enable him to reach his final conclusions.