Agenda item

Public Questions or Statements

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice and provided the text to Nicki Lishman or Louise Hancock of Democratic Services (contact details below) no later than midday on 28 November 2023. Each speaker should limit themselves to 3 minutes on any item.  Members of the public who have given notice will be invited to speak:

·           at this point in the meeting if their questions/statements relate to matters which are not otherwise on the Agenda (subject to an overall time limit of 30 minutes);

·           when the relevant Agenda item is being considered if they wish to speak on a matter which is on the Agenda for this meeting.


If you are exercising your right to speak at this meeting, but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chairman who will instruct those taking a recording to cease whilst you speak.


There were six public questions and statements.  There were three public questions and statements where the persons who had made the submission were not in attendance.  In view of the large number of questions and statements received and the fact that the subject matter was similar to that covered by the other three questions and statements, the Chair determined that the questions and statements submitted by those who were not present at meeting would not be read out.  In doing so, he stated that these had previously been circulated to all councillors on the committee and the questions and statements along with the answers would be included in the minutes of the meeting.


David Turner (unable to attend)


Sometime ago I initially wrote to Trevor Watson, Assistant Director (Planning) at North Yorkshire Council. We had an extended exchange of emails regarding various aspects of the operations of the Ian Mosey Feeds Ltd.


That also lead to an exchange of emails with Jill Thompson, Planning Manager, Malton Office. I’m pleased to say it was all amicable, and much useful and interesting information was exchanged.


My last correspondence with Jill was 11th November 2023, which was concluded with Jill saying that …. “With regards to the installation of the cooler in 2019, the wording on the web-site does indicate a breach of this condition and this will be something that we will contact the company about.”


The wording I was referring to on the Ian Mosey website was “when the cooler was installed (November 2019), director Becky Milne (Ian’s daughter I understand) quoted “This new equipment will not only help us to improve product quality but also help to make our Mill more productive.”


So, my question is:  Firstly, “What action has been taken with Ian Mosey Feeds Ltd about the installation of a cooler in 2019 by which the wording of their own website indicated a breach of one of the Councils earlier Planning Conditions?”


And, secondly, “What is the outcome of that action?”


Response from Jill Thompson, Service Manager, Planning Services, Ryedale area


The company was contacted (via their planning consultants by email) and attention was drawn to Condition 2 of planning approval ref 11/00498/73A which requires that ‘no machinery or other equipment shall be introduced or installed which would have the effect of increasing the current operating capacity of the mill without the prior written approval of the Local Planning Authority’.


In response to the email, it was confirmed that the cooler was a direct replacement of an older cooler which had been decommissioned because it had become corroded and had reached the end of its useful life. The response confirmed that as a replacement cooler it does not have the effect of increasing output and that therefore this does not represent a breach of the condition. In the absence of any information to the contrary, the installation of the cooler cannot be confirmed as a breach of planning control.


The Council is aware that members of the public are concerned about the production/ operating capacity of the Mill and the extent to which there is a consequential increase in vehicle movements. The Council has more recently formally contacted the Company for information relating to the cooler and any other equipment that may have been installed which would have the effect of increasing capacity/output from the site.


Once the Council has received a response from the company it will consider what, if any, courses of action are required. As members of the public may be aware, an appeal against the Enforcement Notice relating to vehicle movements has been lodged and a public inquiry is scheduled for March of next year. The Council will therefore need to prioritise its work to ensure that the Planning Inspectorate’s appeal deadlines are met.


Bridget Hannigan (unable to attend)


I write regarding the latest planning application from Ian Mosey Ltd (ZE23/00750/CLEUD) - approved by yourself and enabling a further extension of his operating hours.  Given that these decisions seem to be made behind closed doors; in isolation from the people they affect the most, I would be grateful if you could answer a few questions for me. 


In Ian Mosey’s previous application (21/01658/CLEUD) for unlimited operating hours, your decision was based upon the need to ‘protect those living in the locality from the harm which could arise as a result of unrestricted vehicle movements’.  Why then have you now apparently abandoned this previous commitment and allowed an even earlier start time of 5.30am? 


The very morning after you approved this latest application, grain lorries began coming through the village at 4.40am. 


Most people would consider the 6.30am starts to already be disturbing and disruptive to daily life.  5.30am starts, plus the sheer numbers of vehicles now involved, make life here pretty miserable.  We are not talking about a quick ‘drive-by’.  Empty lorries vibrate and can be heard hitting every pothole on the approach to the village - ‘thundering’ is the common adjective used.  Drivers are changing down gears as they approach Oswaldkirk Bank - sometimes losing traction – and labouring up the hill.  The Hag acts as a natural amphitheatre and traps the noise.  Lorries going up are meeting others coming down and struggling to pass.  It takes each lorry approximately 30 seconds to travel through the village.  Perhaps that doesn’t seem much but please, just try to imagine it...  During the ‘Mosey Morning Rush-hour' lorries can be coming through the village every 4 minutes.  Last Friday, more than 20 had passed through by 6.30am. 


There is a huge impact on sleep.  We may not have a legal right to sleep but do we not have a moral right?  Sleep is essential to life - second only to oxygen - and the serious negative effects of sleep deprivation on mental and physical health are well documented (see work by Professor Matthew Wilson et al).  The NHS advises 8 hours of sleep per night.  With the scale of Ian Mosey’s operation and his regular breaches from 3.30am until 10.45pm, that is an impossibility.  There is no respite on Saturdays or Sundays either. 


Like many properties in the village, my house is built directly into Oswaldkirk Bank.  It is now showing signs of structural damage caused by vibrations, noticeable when fully loaded grain lorries labour up the hill.  These narrow B-roads and old villages were not designed for the volume of heavy traffic they are now subject to. 


I am pleased you have finally been able to serve an Enforcement Notice on Ian Mosey Ltd. but by approving this latest extension I feel the damage has already been done.  Too little, too late.  Ian Mosey Ltd. has so far shown complete disregard for planning laws and the communities that surround him, and I don’t think that is likely to change with the ‘threat’ of a fine. 


As residents, living and working in Ryedale, are we not all part of its ‘rural economy’ and therefore vital to its success?  I have been a Ryedale resident and worked in the area for over 15 years.  Living in Oswaldkirk and having Ian Mosey Ltd. as a neighbour has never been easy, but I fear now, you might just have made it impossible. 


Response from Jill Thompson, Service Manager, Planning Services, Ryedale area


The issue that the Council considered as part of the first Certificate of Lawful Development (CLEUD) application was the extent to which the applicant had consistently breached the relevant planning condition. The Council analysed the evidence over specific time periods. Following the grant of the first CLEUD, the applicant was able to provide additional evidence which was used in support of a second CLEUD application. This led to a reconsideration of evidence of vehicle movements in breach of the condition for the 5.30-6.30am time period.


Breaches of the condition over this time period have been a reality. On the basis of the applicant’s evidence and on our own methodology, the Council had no option but to approve the second CLEUD. As members of the public may be aware a Certificate of Lawful Development can only be determined on the basis of a lawful position, informed by evidence. The merits of the development or actively for which a certificate is sought cannot be taken into account.


Mark Wilson (unable to attend)


The HGV traffic associated with Moseys has increased to a level where it is seriously impacting the quality of life of both my family and other residents of Hovingham. A recent lorry count by residents revealed that in one day 120 lorries travelled both ways along Park Street which is a C class road. This is a typical number for how many come through most days. Park Street joins the B1257 in Hovingham at a T junction outside my house. On many occasions two lorries meet on that junction, one trying to turn into Park Street and one coming out and turning on to the B1257 towards Malton. This really is a bottle neck which results in a traffic jam and on occasions, a lorry mounting the pavement outside my house which is very dangerous. Add into that the noise of lorries braking and accelerating from 4am to late evening, this causes a great deal of disturbance to me and my family.

In planning 11/00498/73A, Condition 1 states “to ensure the amenities of nearby residents are not unreasonably affected”.


My question is, what has the Council done, and more importantly intend to do to fulfil its obligations to protect the local communities’ amenities and uphold the principals of an AONB and reclaim the amenities for my family and other residents?


Response from Jill Thompson, Service Manager, Planning Services, Ryedale area


The Council has issued an Enforcement Notice in respect of vehicle movements in continued breach of lawful hours. It will defend its position as part of the appeal against the notice by the company for as long as it is in the public interest to do so.

The Council will continue to investigate alleged breaches of planning control and will enforce against this when it is considered expedient to do so.


Patrick Meagher


At the previous Area Constituency Committee ("ACC") meeting, residents of Hovingham and Oswaldkirk expressed their dismay that two Certificates of Lawfulness had been approved for Ian Mosey Ltd's Black Dale Mill. They were further dismayed when an associated Enforcement Notice was appealed (though residents recognise rights of appeal).


Truck movements associated with this mill at unsociable hours are already unacceptable. A successful appeal of the Enforcement Notice will only make this worse. The only option for villages in and around this part of the Howardian Hills AONB is to press the council for a Traffic Regulation Order ("TRO").


However, at the previous ACC, residents were told that TROs on Park Street, Hovingham or Oswaldkirk Bank would not be considered. This is before residents had been given any opportunity to put a case to the Local Highways Authority.

If a Councillor made up his or her mind before examining a case for or against a proposal, that Councillor would rightly be accused of "predetermination".


Therefore, I am asking if residents may be given the opportunity of a meeting with the Local Highways Authority so that a discussion can take place whereby "Enforcement Resources", "Displacement" and other issues or measures can be explored.


In summary, is it too much trouble to ask for a meeting?


Response from Richard Marr, Area Manager – Area 4


The local Highways Area Manager will contact the Parish Councils of Hovingham and Oswaldkirk to arrange a meeting with them and any other Parish Councils who are involved, to discuss the reasons behind our concerns in creating Traffic Regulation Orders to restrict HGV movements in their villages.


Tony Mathe


As a resident of Park Street in Hovingham for the last 10 years, I have become increasingly concerned by the amount of commercial HGV traffic passing through a small, residential area. After a small amount of research, it became obvious that this increase was as a result of the expansion at the Ian Mosey plant. My initial concern was the obvious disregard to the planning agreement restricting the hours that vehicle movement was allowed. Even after a great deal of publicity, this rule breaking continues. My major concern has now moved onto the unrelenting expansion of the plant, which will inevitably increase the HGV movement through an area of natural beauty, with roads never designed to take this type of traffic. 


As a homeowner, who struggles to sit in his garden or open windows during the summer months, due to the noise or is woken up from 4.30 in the morning when an empty Ian Mosey lorry flies down the road, living in the beautiful village of Hovingham is becoming intolerable.


So my question is will the authorities take a detailed look at the Ian Mosey business model, including any planning permissions and decide if it is appropriate to be based in an AONB and or fair for the residents of many local villages to put up with the constant disruption? 


Response from Jill Thompson, Service Manager, Planning Services, Ryedale area


The business is an existing established business. It is located where it is and has been present at the site for several decades. It is not for the Council to assess the merits or otherwise of the company’s business model. From a planning perspective, the Council will take account of all of the issues which are raised by any future planning applications that it receives from the company. In addition, the Council will continue to use its planning enforcement powers, as it is doing in this case, to address breaches of planning control.


Ann Meagher


Firstly I would like to give an insight into what it's like living along Park Street in Hovingham.


Every morning from around 4.30 I am woken by the clattering and banging of a grain bulker driving over three sunken drain covers in the road. The noise is worse when they are empty.


This is the start of nearly 17 hours of HGV movements. Most, if not all, of the 44 tonne grain bulkers are going to and from Blackdale Mill in Coulton along with smaller 8 wheel rigid mill trucks and stock lorries.


A resident counted over 120 of these vehicles in a 14 hour period just through Hovingham alone!


Can you imagine having to live with that constant noise? I can't enjoy my garden in the summer. I can't sit quietly in my house and read. Some people have had to change the way they live in their homes: moving the bedroom to the back of the house, having a smaller sitting room at the back just to escape the noise. It is causing a lot of distress to a lot of people


Also, the damage these vehicles are doing to the road is enormous with Highways recently spending in excess of £220,000 patching up Park Street near to its junction with Coulton Lane - damage caused by lorries.


The blight on the village of Hovingham and surrounding villages is all down to one company whose business has been allowed to grow beyond all acceptable levels on its current site and who have not given any thought to ensuring that the amenities of nearby residents are not affected. The business will almost certainly be allowed 24/7 vehicle movements in the very near future too.


I can't think of anywhere else in the country where nearly four hectares of an AONB have been concreted over for a business that could, very easily, have been sited elsewhere.



·         What are the Planning Department's plans going forward to prevent any future expansion of this business on its current site?

·         Are they able to scale back production to that agreed in previous planning applications/approvals?

·         How and why has there been such a huge increase in output (932%) and therefore vehicle movements?


Response from Jill Thompson, Service Manager, Planning Services, Ryedale area


The Council is not aware the business has plans to expand at the current site. Mrs Meagher will be aware that the Council will have to consider any future applications for any further expansion at the site on their merits. It cannot predetermine any application. However, given the current position and the issues raised by the current operation of the business, it would be reasonable to say that the Council would consider any such proposals very carefully.


At present, the Council is not in a position to explain increases in output/ vehicle movements over time and output tonnage from the mill. As stated, the Council is awaiting a response from the company which will help to inform whether increased output has occurred as a result of a breach of planning control. Once this is received the Council will consider what, if any actions it is appropriate to take.


Patrick Meagher, as part of a supplementary question, requested that a meeting be arranged with the NYC Highways Services to try and find a solution to the issue.


Tony Mathe, as part of a supplementary question, expressed his concerns about previous non-compliance with the planning conditions and stated that this should be taken into account.