A BLUEPRINT for the future of one of North Yorkshire’s market towns has now been published.

The new Helmsley Plan outlines opportunities for housing and employment within the town, on the edge of the North York Moors, up to 2027.

A six-week public consultation on the document will now take place and comments will be submitted to a Government planning inspector before it is formally adopted.

The plan has been jointly prepared by the North York Moors National Park Authority and Ryedale District Council and the inspector will use the comments received to establish whether it is “sound.”

Last summer residents, businesses and other organisations gave their views on a draft plan that identified five preferred sites for new housing, two for economic growth and one for an extra care facility for people over 55.

The latest version contains more detail about those sites to address concerns raised during the initial consultation.

The Moors’ planning policy officer Caroline Skelly said: “The proposals set out in the plan will enable Helmsley to continue as a thriving market town and community.

“It will allow the town to grow to meet local housing and employment needs but without harming it’s distinctive character.”

The plan and details of how to make comments are available at northyorkmoors.org.uk and various council and park authority offices.

Comments need to be submitted no later than 4.30pm on March 7.