Proposed Malton and Norton Neighbourhood Plan nears completion
Development work is nearing completion on the proposed Neighbourhood Plan for Malton and Norton, which both town councils first started to prepare in 2011. The work has been stepped up by Malton and Norton town councils over the last two years and the Plan is now approaching the pre-submission stage. The town councils are now asking for informal input on a number of outstanding policy option issues and intended site designations, covering the proposed future housing mix for the towns, the future of Wentworth Street Car Park, and the possible pedestrianisation of Malton town centre. Some 20 sites across the two towns are also now the subject of an informal consultation process which is about to start. The full draft Neighbourhood Plan is expected to be presented for public consultation by the middle of 2019.
Speaking about the preparation of the plan, David Lloyd-Williams, chair of the joint councils’ steering group, said: “The whole point of a Neighbourhood Plan is that it’s community-led. It’s been a long time in the making, but we’re now approaching the final stages of its development. Over the past two years, it’s had extensive input from a number of community-based focus groups, and a professional firm with wide experience of delivering successful neighbourhood plans was commissioned to provide expert advice and to draft the actual document.”
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by the Government under the Localism Act of 2011. They are an important and powerful tool that gives communities such as Malton and Norton, through their town councils, statutory powers to help with their development, including:
- Setting out planning policies for the area – which are then used to decide whether in the future Ryedale District Council as the Local Planning Authority is able to approve planning applications;
- Their drafting by the local community, the people who best know the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority; and
- By helping to ensure that the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.
Building on work begun by the town councils as far back as 2011, a new steering group was created during 2017 which included representatives from the whole community of Malton and Norton.
“A number of separate focus groups also met on many occasions to consider the details of what should be included. These focus groups included residents, businesses, community groups, schools and churches – to find out what was important to us where we live, what we’d like to improve, and what our vision is for the local area”, said Lloyd-Williams.
An essential part of the process was also the need to gather evidence to back up the ideas that the community wants to see. Using this feedback and evidence, grant funding was secured to engage a specialist for technical support and to provide professional advice to help write the planning policies that will make the vision of the community a reality.
The Neighbourhood Plan, which will comply with the framework of the Ryedale Local Plan, will consider;
- Housing mix, and provision for businesses to set up or expand their premises;
- Transportation issues, including roads, traffic management, car parking, rail access, cycling, and walking;
- The development of schools, health facilities, leisure and entertainment facilities, and other meeting places for the community to use;
- The enhancement of the local environment and street scene, including the design of buildings and improvements to conservation areas, and ways in which the community can take pride in the appearance of the two towns;
- The river corridor, including the improvement of access, development along the river frontage, buildings affected by flood risk – and flood defences;
- Tourism and the heritage of the community, including the protection of important buildings, archaeological sites and other historic assets; and
- The protection and creation of open space, sports pitches, play areas, trees, parkland and gardens.
In order to finalise the draft plan, the town councils are asking for informal input from Malton and Norton residents on a number of outstanding policy option issues.
The consultation will run from Friday 25th January 2019 until Friday 15th February 2019.
The policy options cover three key topics as follows:
- The proposed housing mix for the towns;
- Wentworth Street Car Park; and
- The pedestrianisation of Malton Market Place
A link to the questionnaire can be found here:
The responses given will be carefully assessed to ensure that the Neighbourhood Plan best fits the views that have been expressed. Following this, the Pre-Submission Plan will be finalised and it will then be subject to a statutory six week consultation period.
Responses can be made by post or by e-mail to the addresses below, by posting back to us, or completing a form at one of the following scheduled community drop-in events to be held over the 3 week consultation period:-
- Wednesday 6th February 2019 – Malton Town Council Chambers, Community House, Wentworth Street, Malton, YO17 7BN (10am to 7pm)
- Thursday 7th February 2019 – Norton Town Council Chambers, 84b Commercial Street, Norton, YO17 9ES (10am to 7pm)
If you have any questions, please either e-mail us at the above address or ring us during normal office hours, Malton Town Council 01653 228699 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Norton Town Council 01653 695348 email@example.com
The final Neighbourhood Plan, amended as necessary, will then be submitted to Ryedale District Council to organise an independent examination to ensure that it has been prepared correctly.
Following a referendum of all electoral role voters within the neighbourhood area, and assuming this is successful, Ryedale District Council will have a legal obligation to apply the policies when making future planning decisions. It is intended that the Plan will come into force in late 2020.