MALTON livestock market, in North Yorkshire – once one of the biggest in the North of England – is to be demolished and a multimillion pound retail development, car park and public square built on the site.

It follows a decision by planning inspector David Wildsmith, after a five-day inquiry into the plan put forward by site owner the South Yorkshire-based Fitzwilliam Estate, the biggest land and property owner in the town.

Ryedale District Council which rejected the scheme earlier this year, has had costs awarded against it, in favour of the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate.

Mr Wildsmith said he had given the controversial scheme the go-ahead because there would be good links between the planned scheme and the town centre. “I consider it reasonable to assume that the appeal proposal would strengthen and enhance the town centre, rather than adversely impact on it,” he said.

When the district council planning committee turned down the application in March, councillors also approved plans to develop part of the Wentworth Street car park site into a supermarket – but it now has to reconsider that decision, said Mr Wildsmith.

Roddy Bushell, agent for the estate, said: “I am sure the large majority of the people of Malton, residents and businesses alike, will be relieved by this historic decision.

“The very important livestock market site can now be transformed from a use which is no longer appropriate, to expand Malton’s town centre and play a vital role in its economic future.”

Mr Bushell added: “We have put the heart back into the future of Malton.”

The district council leader, Coun Keith Knaggs, said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the inspector’s decision.

”I accept that the council was unable to defend its position to the inspector’s satisfaction and officers will work with the Fitzwilliam Estate in achieving a successful development on the livestsock market site,” he said.

The plan is to build a new mart on a 7.5-acre site at Espersykes, near Eden Camp.