NEWS: Read my email, dated 18 May 2019, to Cllr. Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Transport for North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), in response to the NYCC consultation into the proposed 7.5 tonne HGV weight restriction on Norton level crossing. A potentially unlawful, sloppy, consultation that expressly fails to present the public with critical information about changes in air quality with which to make an informed decision! Read my email here!
STOP PRESS: On Tuesday 19 March, Ryedale Planning Committee approved the development of a new BP filling station and M&S convenience store on the site of the old Dewhirst factory in Norton. The approval was given by voting to not challenge an appeal against refusal brought by the applicant. Listen to the audio of that incredible RDC Planning Committee meeting. Agenda Item 11. starts at 1:29:12.
The Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme cost Ryedale and North Yorkshire taxpayers £6million pounds. It was built (so they like you to believe) to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in the centre of Malton, but the real motive was to blow open the door to large-scale housing development in Malton and Norton. The junction opened in September 2012 but most of the so-called ‘complementary measures’, deemed ‘critical’ in order to deliver the multiple benefits of the scheme, have still not been implemented.
In October 2011, senior officers of Ryedale District Council ‘sold’ the project to Ryedale District Council’s elected members (representing the people of Ryedale), on the basis that it would reduce traffic movements through Butcher Corner, Malton by up to 33%, improve air quality, and improve pedestrian safety. RDC’s Head of Economy and Housing made a ‘big song and dance’ about the need for changes to the phasing of traffic lights at Butcher Corner to improve pedestrian safety, where there had been seven (7) recorded accidents involving pedestrians. Seven (7) years on, no changes have been introduced. Someone, somewhere, had a rare moment of clarity and realised that adding an extra phase would increase traffic congestion and increase air pollution, hence the measure was quietly dumped. Whoops! Never mind pedestrian safety!
NEWS: There has been NO reduction in traffic movements through Butcher Corner, Malton.
The Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme was a political means to an end. The initiative was a PR stunt by which Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council justified the large-scale development of Malton and Norton proposed in the Ryedale Plan. The benefits we were promised were just padding and some of the real dangers of the scheme were overlooked and ignored, and the fact remains that the £6million pounds Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme was flawed and doomed to failure from the start. Documentary proof exists. The Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme has failed to deliver the benefits we were promised and RDC and NYCC should give us our money back.
In early 2019, local people, especially parents, were ‘up in arms’ because HGV traffic has been displaced by the implementation of an HGV restriction over Norton level crossing. HGVs are re-routing past two junior schools on an entirely unsuitable narrow road. What the people in charge are not telling them, is that the re-routing of HGV traffic was a known consequence and inevitable impact of the Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme. This dangerous knock-on effect was predicted by the Head of Economy and Housing of Ryedale District Council at the meeting of the Ryedale District Council Air Quality Steering Group on 16 January 2012. There goes that inconvenient pedestrian safety issue again…
It gets worse…
At the Public Hearing session of the Ryedale Plan Sites Allocation Document on the afternoon of 25th September 2018 (the document containing the latest group of sites identified by the council for development in Ryedale – mainly in Malton and Norton), the RDC Planning Officer told the government appointed Planning Inspector, Mrs Caroline Mulloy, that Butcher Corner is “at capacity” and will remain “over capacity”. (The Planning Officer failed to mention the 33% reduction in traffic we were promised would result from the £6million pounds Brambling Fields scheme).
Confirmation, if you were not already convinced, that the Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme was, and is, a White Elephant, and simply funded (by us) to blow-open the door to large-scale development in Malton and Norton. The scheme was publicly funded for the private gain of the major landowner(s) and developers – and so Ryedale District Council could mop-up the gravy of government New Homes Bonus.
What the residents of Ryedale have received in return for their money is the over-development of Malton and Norton and a growing traffic nightmare. RDC and NYCC documents demonstrate clearly that the Brambling Fields scheme was doomed from the start, and either the Senior Officers were temporarily blinded by their own reflected brilliance, or they intentionally ignored the facts to force through the Ryedale Plan.
The end result is that we, the residents of Ryedale, have not received any of the benefits we were promised for our £6million pounds investment. The traffic congestion in Malton and Norton is BAD, and the RDC Planners, unless the government appointed Planning Inspector intervenes, are going to make it worse.
NEW: Read a transcript of the evidence presented by the RDC Planning Officer to the Planning Inspector Mrs Caroline Mulloy, at the Public Hearing session at Ryedale House, Malton on Tuesday 25th September.
We can all enjoy Brambling Fields forever!
Brambling Fields Forever! is performed by Stanley Bad.
Words by Stanley Bad.
Music by John Lennon.
Filmed by Simon Thackray in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
Brambling Fields Forever! is a Hand In A Bucket Of Sh*t Production.
Copyright © Hand In A Bucket Of Sh*t Productions 2015
You might also enjoy Ryedale Flood Defence 3D Working Model. The long-awaited practical answer to flood protection in Malton and Norton, this revolutionary device is currently being tested by engineers from Yorkshire Water. Watch this space!