VILLAGERS have voiced outrage over a joint proposal by the estates of an aristocrat and the descendants of a Victorian textiles tycoon to build a housing and industrial estate on the home of one of the North’s most popular annual agricultural shows.

Numerous residents of Egton, near Whitby, have urged the North York Moors National Park Authority to reject a plan to build nine homes, relocate the public car park and build mixed industrial units on land east of the High Street, saying it would prove disastrous for the village and the large-scale rural show it has hosted there for more than 140 years.

The proposal, which will be considered on Thursday, has been lodged by the Marquis of Normanby’s 15,000-acre Mulgrave Estate and the 6,000-acre Egton Estate, which has been owned by the same family since being bought in 1869 by renowned textile manufacturer John Foster, of Black Dyke Mills, Bradford.

In planning documents, agents for the estates highlight how the development would feature “principal residence housing”, which would prevent the properties from being used as holiday homes, on “a brown field site”.

The estates state the Egton Horse and Agricultural Show could continue in the agricultural field and the mixed industrial units would provide opportunities for local businesses to expand, for new businesses to broaden the village’s economic base.

The application states: “The proposal provides for economic, social, and environmental benefits through the provision of new housing and jobs for local people together with an environmental enhancement of the conservation area through the removal of large areas of car parking to a more discreet location.”

However, responses to the proposal feature dozens of objections, claiming there is no proven need for the housing or industrial units, which would ruin the character of the moorland village and exacerbate traffic and flooding issues.

Residents of Egton and the surrounding area said a significant reduction in the space available for the show would make it unviable, and that the show committee, which was reliant on the goodwill of the estates for a site for the event, is in talks to secure an alternative location for the event.

Objectors said they believed relocating the event at least two miles from the village would also be likely to undermine it.

Lifelong residents of the village said it was “absolutely disgusting” the development was even being considered as “our village history and traditions are at stake of being destroyed” to boost the coffers of the estates.

Crowds at Egton Show in 2019 Picture: Richard Doughty Photography

Crowds at Egton Show in 2019 Picture: Richard Doughty Photography

One resident wrote: “The Egton Show is one of the greatest traditions in North Yorkshire. It brings the community together it brings visitors who then come again to the village on other days. It provides a much needed link to farming.”

Another objector added: “Egton Show has been one of the most anticipated country shows annually, for decades. A show that the community of Egton are proud of and people near and far enjoy. To put the future of Egton Show at risk is absolutely devastating for the community and others that enjoy this event every year.”

Ahead of the meeting, the authority’s planning officers have recommended the scheme be rejected due to its impact on Egton’s landscapes and character, road safety concerns and as it was “so far removed” from policies in the authority’s development plan.

Egton Show

Egton Horse and Agricultural Show is due to be held on August 24, following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

It has traditionally included performances by a range of bands and entertainers and some of the region’s most extensive competitions for horticulture, home produce, horses, pigs, sheep and goats.

As the event – staged on fields owned by the Marquis of Normanby – is held during the school summer holidays it attracts a large number of tourists as well as serving as a key social date for communities across the north-eastern area of the national park.