Agenda item

Maltkiln New Settlement - Submission of the New Settlement (Maltkiln) Development Plan Document

Attached is the covering report and feedback from the Development Plans Committee and Selby & Ainsty Area Constituency Committee in respect of the Maltkiln New Settlement Plan.


The full report, including the appendices, was considered by the Development Plans Committee on 16th January 2024 and a link to the full report is provided here, rather than replicate that information in duplicate, in its entirety: -


To see the publicly available information, including the full report and all of the appendices for the Maltkiln New Settlement Plan follow the link: Agenda details on public web site


Please contact Will Baines (contact details at the end of the agenda) should you require a printed version of this document.




To recommend to Full Council:


i)          That the Council submit the Submission Draft DPD and accompanying submission documents to the Secretary of State for examination.


ii)         That the Corporate Director Community Development in consultation with the Executive Member for Open to Business, be authorised to make minor amendments and graphical improvements to the Submission Draft DPD and submission documents prior to submission.


iii)        That for the period of the examination in public, delegated authority be given to the Head of Infrastructure and Delivery, in consultation with the Executive Member for Open to Business, to:


a.         provide formal responses to questions from the Inspector alongside other supporting statements and documentation as requested by the Inspector.


b.         agree modifications to the plan through the examination period in order to make the plan sound.


c.    To undertake all other necessary steps required as part of the examination


Considered – Report of the Corporate Director of Community Development seeking renewed agreement for submission of the New Settlement (Maltkiln) Development Plan Document (DPD) to the Secretary of State for public examination and to agree the process of decision making during the examination in respect of agreeing modifications to the Plan and responding to questions from the Inspector (including the provision of supporting statements and documentation).


Councillor Derek Bastiman introduced the report, emphasising that Maltkiln presents an opportunity to begin a new settlement from scratch, with a local centre, facilities and infrastructure on site. It will deliver a minimum of 3,000 homes which are much needed in North Yorkshire. A DPD has been prepared to guide delivery and there has been extensive consultation throughout its preparation. The recommendation proposes to Full Council to submit the DPD for examination in public. This process is rigorous and will offer further opportunities for parties to discuss any concerns as well as further consultation on any proposed modifications. Progressing the DPD allows the Council to lead the process, setting the policies and principles to get the high quality development that meets the needs of future residents. The decision was taken by the former Harrogate Borough Council to publish the draft DPD for consultation and to submit the plan. This still has a legal standing, but given the time elapsed, it is felt prudent to reaffirm that decision. The main point to empathise is the decision to submit for examination, not to adopt, and therefore there is rigorous scrutiny ahead in relation to any concerns raised.


The public participants were then invited to address the meeting, as follows:


1.     Clare Beckett

‘I should like to relate to you my own experience of the development plan process.  I have been a member of Whixley Parish council for twenty years and have taken part in many meetings with Harrogate Planners from the outset of the Development Plan process.


At the first workshop I attended I was alarmed to see on the map showing land for possible development that land making up most of our family farm had been included without our knowledge.


No one had notified us of this inclusion and had I not attended the workshop I would not have known.  We did own one smaller field which had always been earmarked for development and has subsequently been built on.  I asked the planning officers to remove our land from showing as being available for development and this was done, but in the meantime CEG Developers had make public their plan for Great Hammerton in 2018 and many people made totally unfounded and unpleasant accusations that we had sold all our land to them.


Having had this experience, I would like to be reassured that Harrogate Planners had, when designating the area outlined for the proposed Maltkiln settlement, obtained written confirmation from the owners of land shown as available for development. As I know from my own experience developers can make plans for land they don’t own.  I am concerned that landowners who had never offered their land for development in the initial development plan could now face the threat of Compulsory Purchase Orders because Harrogate Planners asserted that some areas of land were available for development when in fact this was not the case.


I hope that you are now able to show me and reassure the executive that the relevant correspondence from landowners confirming availability is all in place and put my mind at rest that the Maltkiln development has not been based on false information and that a great many people’s time has not been wasted.  If this information is not available, then surely NYC cannot present a plan which may contain inaccuracies and therefore be fallible when scrutinised by a planning inspector at a costly enquiry.’


In response, Councillor Derek Bastiman responded that the Council is satisfied that the necessary tests for delivery of the Development Plan can be met. This will be explored in detail at the examination in public.


As part of a supplementary question, Ms Beckett asked to see the written documentation regarding this. Natasha Durham responded, noting that in developing the DPD, the boundary was drawn on the basis of the known available land and officers are satisfied that the agreements are in place to deliver the majority of the settlement.


As a further supplementary question, the public speaker stated that North Yorkshire Council recently agreed to the principle of using Compulsory Purchase orders and asked given the current world situation and the growing need for the UK to become self-sufficient in terms of food production, do members believe, and should they not debate, that agricultural land be protected and retained to feed the nation, with development better placed on brownfield sites, and can the Executive give reassurance to the many North Yorkshire farmers who wish to continue to work hard to do this. In response, Councillor Derek Bastiman noted the comments made but explained that the land is already allocated.


2.     Martin Simpson, Chair of Green Hammerton PC

‘We as a Parish Council and our residents have significant concerns regarding the Maltkiln development. We are concerned overall that officers are acting in the interests of the developer’s commercial gain rather than the public interest, the location has been pushed by developers profit margins rather than where houses are actually needed in the Harrogate and Selby area.


At the Executive meeting of North Yorkshire Council held on 12 December 2023, Cllr. Simon Myers was reported as saying that “financing this scheme with taxpayers’ money is in the great tradition of slum clearance and social-housing programmes’’.* We were shocked by the description of slum clearance, we would not call the destruction of grade A agricultural land, the best food producing land available, a slum.


Councillors are expecting the new settlement to reduce the 8,500 people on the housing waiting list. Given that the initial DPD New Settlement affordable housing figure of 40% was revised down to 20% due to being unviable, and now the modified New Settlement DPD removes any policy stipulation on affordable housing altogether,


My question is what is the actual overall number of social-rent and other types of affordable housing that can be guaranteed by this scheme?’


In response Councillor Derek Bastiman was clear that the suggestion that officers are acting in the interests of the developers’ commercial gain rather than public interest is entirely without foundation. The Council must ensure that sites are deliverable, and this includes ensuring that schemes are commercially viable. As shown in the extensive work before members today, the site was chosen due to its location on the active railway line and opportunity to deliver a new community with facilities and services on site.


In relation to the affordable housing target, the proposed DPD policy states: “The Council will require a percentage of affordable housing, in line with the policies in the Local Plan, to be provided on each phase of development or each housing development, including mixed use schemes, subject to viability and the demonstration of need for affordable housing”. It has not lowered the requirement to 20%. The current Local Plan requires 40% unless it can be shown not to be viable.


The Council has always been open with the fact that viability on new settlements is challenging and that is likely that 40% affordable housing will not be achieved on all phases of development. But it should be remembered that this is a very long-term scheme and later phases will be expected to contribute more affordable homes. Additionally, there are significant benefits to delivering new settlements and providing facilities and infrastructure in a holistic and well-planned way. At this stage it is difficult to put a precise figure on the number of affordable homes, but these will form part of a wider mix of housing, including self-build and specialist housing (for older people and/or people with support needs). 


Councillor Derek Bastiman concluded by reaffirming that the suggestion that officers are acting in the interests of the developers’ commercial gain rather than public interest is entirely without foundation.


As a supplementary question, Mr Simpson asked if despite his own personal view that the DPD was in breach of council policies, was it the intention of the Executive to recommend the DPD to Full Council?


Councillor Derek Bastiman responded that the examination in public process would consider the viability aspects raised.


* As a point of clarification, Councillor Simon Myers raised that he was incorrectly quoted by Mr Simpson in his public statement and that he had made an assertion that is completely groundless.



3.     Cokie van der Velde, Whixley Parish Council

‘No doubt, like the members of Whixley Parish Council, all councillors present today will have spent time reading the submission draft documents for the new settlement dated February 2024.


Whixley Parish Council is concerned that this seems to have been rushed through and would like to point out still contains errors – on page 1of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan says, “the council will submit the DPD for examination in 2023”. Throughout the table at the end of this document NYCC is referred to rather than our new authority NYC and HBC is mentioned.


We are particularly concerned that the viability of the development has not been fully thought through. There are lots of costs associated with linking the development to existing communities and mitigating local impacts that don’t appear in the new Infrastructure Delivery Plan.


Most significantly from our residents’ point of view the Infrastructure Delivery Plan still does not include a scheme to increase the capacity of the A59 between Maltkiln and the A1(M) even though the Transport Assessment submitted by the developer with the planning application concludes that this section of road would need to be made into a dual carriageway. We cannot be left with a constant traffic jam on the most important road serving our communities.


Infrastructure as significant as this will affect the viability of Maltkiln and members must question whether the viability of the development has been properly tested.


Also, on the A59 the new settlement promises a roundabout at the end of the spine road which will replace part of the Whixley crossroads.


“Policy NS36 of the DPD identifies that further works will be required to support the Maltkiln development, for which a financial contribution will be required, secured through a S106 agreement. Despite this woolliness a very precise figure of £1,099,379 is allocated for this scheme. Can there be any confidence in figures presented in this way.


Some items in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan don’t have a cost associated with them or say this is to be confirmed. How can the viability have been properly considered if there are gaps in this information?


Maybe not so strategic but of great importance to our village, regarding the provision of cricket the document says in Section 5 there will be: “Contributions to improve capacity of play at Kirk Hammerton, Little Ribston and Marton cumGrafton Cricket Clubs.”But Whixley’s cricket club which is only a mile from the proposed new settlement site willreceive nothing.


We are very disappointed that councillors have been presented with documents that have clearly not been properly proofread before being presented to you. In light of this, do councillors have confidence that all the documents due to be approved by them before submission to the Planning Inspector have been sufficiently proofread, fact checked, particularly with regard to the infrastructure costings?


We have been warned in a recent North Yorkshire newsletter that the council is already facing a predicted shortfall of more than £32 million in its budget for the second year of its operationif savings are not made. North Yorkshire residents will feel the brunt of the necessary cuts andthis Examination in Public will be a further cost in an already stretched budget.’


In response, Councillor Derek Bastiman noted that the strategic traffic modelling to support the Local Plan did not indicate an immediate need to dual the A59. The trigger points for the delivery of mitigation measures will be based on a trip budget approach and vehicular trip rates. Monitoring will be operational from the construction of the first phase of development and continue until the development is fully occupied. The results of this monitoring will inform whether mitigation measures are needed to commence and whether the land safeguarded for the dualling is required.


Full scrutiny of the viability and infrastructure demands will be undertaken as part of the examination in public.  


With regard to off-site cricket contributions, the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) reflects the recommendations of the Playing Pitch Strategy which looks to direct contributions to those clubs where pitch capacity can be increased through the improvement of standard or poor quality pitches. At the time of updating the IDP, this did not apply to Whixley, which has been assessed as having a good quality pitch. The final off-site contribution requirement will form part of the Section 106 process attached to the application and will look to reassess the existing provision. It will also be based on an assessment of the detailed sport provision on site.


As a supplementary question, it was asked if site visits have been undertaken. Councillor Derek Bastiman confirmed that he had visited the Maltkiln site.


4.     Kevin Bramley, Hunsingore, Great Ribston with Walshford & Cattal Parish Council


‘It is regretful to have to make this statement. BUT we feel the Council have disadvantaged the local community in not fully engaging with them in the consultation stages of this emerging plan.


The Council have not presented nor defended their DPD plan in a public building in any of the nearby affected villages, at the regulation 18 stage nor at the regulation 19 stage. It is acknowledged that Covid did impact on the regulation 18 stage. This fact should have strengthened the need and willingness to undertake such consultation at the regulation 19 stage. BUT this did not take place!


The developer/promotor of application 19/00017/EIAMAJ (Maltkiln) chose to consult on their planning application during the regulation 19 consultation process which caused confusion leaving some locals thinking this was a local authority promotion.


The Council rebuttals to representations made at the regulation 19 stage have only recently been published. Although some areas of concern raised by locals have been addressed distance still remains between the Council, locals and others in many areas. Some of these distances may have been narrowed had face to face consultation taken place


We are now faced with having to continue representations before an Inspector at

public inquiry.


This leaves the Council and the Community at the behest of a third party determination and recommendation.


The Council over a year ago estimated their costs for an inquiry at £126,500. How much will they be now. AND how much will the additional cost to other publicly funded bodies BE and the public who will participate in such an inquiry? At and around publication of the rebuttals the Council resolved they may use CPO powers.


It remains unclear which lands are to be included within such a CPO. This has added to unrest and confusion


There is now doubt that substantial areas of land within the boundary of the DPD

were ever offered up as being available. Locals feel let down bullied and threatened by lack of face to face consultation and the threat of CPO. A further round of consultation and engagement should be carried out seeking to narrow areas of difference.


Engagement with the Community Liaison group has shown this can be achieved

if time is allowed. Much is made about how the New Settlement will be developed over many decades. So why not take time to seek to close differences that may ensure the New Settlement fulfils the vision for “exemplar development” rather than as seems more likely than it becomes a camel.


It is hard to see how such action will prejudice progression of the North Yorkshire

Local Plan. Such action should help minimise costs of an Inquiry to the public and private purse serving purpose rather than process.’


Councillor Derek Bastiman thanked Mr Bramley for his questions and stated that consultation has been carried out in line with the requirements set out in the relevant Statement of Community Involvement and was well publicised. Whilst there was not a face-to-face session held, he was unclear how it could be perceived as a threat or bullying and was disappointed that such emotive language is being used in this context. It should also be noted that 800 responses from some 131 individuals and organisations were received at Regulation 19 alone, showing high levels of engagement. It is not normal practice to undertake further consultation following Regulation 19 unless significant changes are required and it is not believed to be the case for the Maltkiln DPD.


The examination in public allows all objections to be considered and affords full public scrutiny of proposals. An inspector will determine whether a Plan is sound using established tests set out in national planning legislation and policy and further consultation will occur if modifications are proposed. The modifications proposed alongside the submission draft Plan are for consideration at examination and an Inspector will invite all parties to comment on matters, issues and questions that arise from their initial assessment. Officers have already committed to helping community groups navigate the process of participation.


It should also be noted that the DPD requires more detailed master-planning to be undertaken and states that this must be produced in conjunction with the local community and other stakeholders, so if the DPD is adopted as proposed, then there will be further opportunities for community involvement.Submitting the Plan for examination allows the Council to be leading the process and ensure that a framework is in place to guide development.


In concluding his response, Councillor Derek Bastiman noted that costs set aside are detailed in section 8 of the report and whilst it is difficult to predict precise costings, it is envisaged that the amount held in reserves (£126,500) will cover this.


As a supplementary statement, Mr Bramley expressed his regret that there had not been more engagement with the local community through face to face meetings in the development of the DPD.


5.     Paul Townsend, Kirk Hammerton Parish Council


1.       ‘All public consultation to date about the Maltkiln project has been underpinned by assertions by the Planning Authority that all of the land shown as forming part of the development area was controlled by the developer. KHPC’s responses to each stage of the consultation process have been made in reliance on that basic premise. What steps did the Planning Authority take to satisfy itself that the developer’s assertions that it controlled the land were correct? Can the Executive please confirm that, prior to the publication of each consultation document, the Senior Responsible Officer for the project received written professional advice confirming that the validity of those assertions had been verified (please note – the question relates to control of land as at the date of publication of consultation documents – we appreciate that the situation changed when option agreements to acquire land subsequently expired).


2.       It has already been made public that the developer does not, as of today, control a substantial part of the development land in the south and west of the site. Can the Executive please confirm that it has satisfied itself, prior to publishing its latest draft consultation document, that the developer does retain control of the remainder of the site and that this control is not scheduled to expire within the expected duration of the planning process. Does the same apply to other land which will be required to deliver the project, for example the land over which the proposed link road to the A168 will run?


3.       Please identify (preferably by publishing a map) the land which is the subject of the Compulsory Purchase Order which the Executive approved, in principle, at its meeting on 12 December 2023. What does the Executive anticipate to be the cost of acquiring this land, should a CPO be required? What provision has the Council made in its capital budget for this cost? If none, what unallocated reserves does the Council hold which could be used for this purpose and how much would then be left in the reserves if money has to be spent on the CPO?


4.       Please would you provide an update on what steps have been taken to resolve the situation with landowners since 12 December, with a view to avoiding the need for a CPO.’


In response, Councillor Derek Bastiman stated that the Council is satisfied that the necessary tests for delivery of the Development Plan can be met. If submitted as proposed, this will be explored in detail at examination in public. As detailed in the report to Executive in December 2023, it is hoped that a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) will not be necessary. If it is, then further detailed work will be needed. Dialogue with landowners is ongoing with officers.


As a supplementary question, Mr Townsend asked about the location of the land that could be subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order and the associated costs. Councillor Bastiman stated that no costs have been identified at this stage and the exact area of land is unknown at the moment due to the ongoing dialogue with landowners.


Councillor Arnold Warneken then asked a series of questions:


1.       Given the issues raised by the parishes and the landowners it would be prudent and in the public interest to delay the submission of the DPD to address all the points / concerns raised?


As a Council we quite rightly have made a big statement about the "Biggest Local Council" working with the communities and Parish Councils is at the forefront of the New Local Plan, so we have a chance to make this more than just words by agreeing to a short delay, allowing time for further consultations with the parishes and to prepare their observations to the new Draft DPD for NYC to incorporate them in the submission to the inspector.


2.       If we have to use CPO how many Landowners will be affected and how many homes and businesses?


3.       If we have to use CPO will the land be purchased at agricultural value per hectare and what value will it be sold to the developer? At agriculture or development value per hectare? 


He requested that for the reasons stated by the public speakers affected by the Maltkiln development and that as suggested by Cattal and Hunsingore PC, the DPD submission is delayed for 2 months.


In response, Councillor Derek Bastiman noted that the consultation statement in Appendix 3 shows that extensive consultation has taken place throughout the development of the DPD and as detailed in an earlier public question, the DPD requires more detailed master planning to be undertaken and states that this must be produced in conjunction with the local community and other stakeholders. Consultation will also take place on any proposed modifications that arise during the examination in public.


On the landowners affected, it is understood that the land we believe to be unavailable falls into several ownerships and we will be having further conversations with those who may be affected. It is difficult to put a number on the landowners affected at this stage, but Councillor Warneken would be informed at the earliest opportunity.


On the land value question, it was explained that this is a specialist area and there are many variables. Further work on this would need to be undertaken if, and only if the Council does indeed proceed with CPO.


Councillor Derek Bastiman concluded by stating that there would be no delay in the submission of the DPD as requested.


As a supplementary question, Councillor Arnold Warneken noted the reference in the report that delivery of Maltkiln would make a significant contribution to council priorities to ‘provide good quality, affordable and sustainable housing’ and ‘creating a well-connected and planned place with good transport links and digital connectivity’ and whether the DPD could be submitted given the uncertainty over both of these.


In response, Councillor Derek Bastiman felt it was important that the Council pursued a plan-led approach to the new settlement to bring other organisations onboard and deliver much needed housing within the area. He reaffirmed his offer to attend a future Community Liaison Group meeting.


Councillor Gareth Dadd spoke in favour of the recommendations, noting the much needed housing that Maltkiln would deliver, with a minimum of 3,000 homes planned. He sympathised with the calls for a greater number of affordable homes, but felt it was important to move to the next stage.


There being no other comments, it was


Resolved -


To recommend to Full Council:

i)        That the Council submit the Submission Draft DPD and accompanying submission documents to the Secretary of State for examination.


ii)       That the Corporate Director Community Development in consultation with the Executive Member for Open to Business, be authorised to make minor amendments and graphical improvements to the Submission Draft DPD and submission documents prior to submission.


iii)      That for the period of the examination in public, delegated authority be given to the Head of Infrastructure and Delivery, in consultation with the Executive Member for Open to Business, to:

a. provide formal responses to questions from the Inspector alongside other supporting statements and documentation as requested by the Inspector.

b. agree modifications to the plan through the examination period in order to make the plan sound.

c. To undertake all other necessary steps required as part of the examination



Supporting documents: