Plans for a new livestock market at Malton in North Yorkshire have taken another step forward, following years of discussion.

Ryedale Council’s planning committee has approved a multi-million pound agri-business development which will see the current market move to an out-of-town site just off the main A64 road, despite objections about it being built on agricultural land and at the risk of flooding.

Ryedale District Council’s planning committee heard from planning chief Gary Housden that there was no suitable alternative brownfield site.

Continued operation of the existing market in the town centre will depend on further extensions of the lease from October.

The market is run by Malton Livestock Auctioneers, a partnership between Cundalls and Boulton & Cooper Stephensons, with weekly sales of finished and store cattle and sheep. Derek Watson of Cundalls and director of the Malton and Ryedale Livestock Market Company told Farmers Weekly: “We are hopeful it [the lease] will continue to be renewed on a quarterly basis until such time as we have a new market to move into.”

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The applicants, Commercial Development Projects and Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation, say it will create around 800 jobs and attract £20m investment into the district.

The market plan will now have to be referred to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Local Government and the Communities, as required by the procedure for large-scale developments.

The scheme will, in part, be funded by three new housing developments in Malton.

Mr Watson told the committee the profitable market had gone from strength to strength.

“We do need and have a chance to build a new market which will support and enhance the future of Ryedale’s livestock farmers and make Malton the capital of Ryedale,” he said. The planning committee also heard that Bishop Burton Agricultural College was keen to be involved.

Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate, the existing market landlord, secured planning consent to redevelop the current market site after it appealed against its initial plans being turned down.

Afterwards the applicants said the decision was a “major milestone” and the next step would be to draw up detailed plans.

Steve Stonehouse, who runs 380 ewes at Brawby, near Malton, and uses the twice-weekly market, said: “It is a good thing they have got something decided but it will still be a while before the new one is up and running but I am in favour of it. It is a good move.”