Harrogate Borough Council has extended a consultation into a planned new town the size of Thirsk.
The proposed new town, called Maltkiln, would be built in the Cattal and Green Hammerton area in the east of the district.
Council officials launched a six-week consultation on October 3 into its draft new settlement development plan document, which sets out a 30-year vision and policy framework on how the town is designed and developed.
However, Cllr Arnold Warneken, who represents Ouseburn on North Yorkshire County Council, called for an extension to the consultation amid concern that the planning process was being rushed ahead of the new North Yorkshire Council coming into being.
He issued the plea after it emerged the consultation documents had been changed midway through – without people being told.
The council has since agreed to extend the consultation until November 25.
On its website, the authority said:
“After carefully considering requests from the local community and parish councils, we have extended the Maltkiln DPD consultation until midnight on Friday 25 November to provide more opportunities for the community to engage in the new settlement process.
“Comments received after that date will not be considered ‘duly made’.”
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The move follows Cllr Warneken submitting a letter to Janet Waggot, transition lead for North Yorkshire Council, and Richard Flinton, current chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, on behalf of local parish councils.
In the letter, which has been seen by the Stray Ferret, he called for the consultation to be extended in the interests of transparency.
Cllr Warneken added that, while the parishes did not wish to go down the route of a judicial review, residents frustration should not be underestimated.
“As you will appreciate, use of that sort of terminology starts to take us into legal areas such as judicial review.
“We have no wish to go there. If nothing else, it would be a huge waste of public money. However, please don’t underestimate the level of frustration of local residents.”
You can take part in the consultation over the new town here.