MAJOR extension plans for one of Hambleton’s key industrial estates have taken a step forward via council chief's emergency powers.

The chief executive of Hambleton District Council, Dr Justin Ives, used his emergency powers to approve negotiations with the owners of 30 hectares of land to add to the Leeming Bar estate.

In a report to the authority, officers said that the eight landowners were already showing agreement in selling the land – and one of the existing estate tenants was interested in acquiring eight or nine hectares of it, and working with the council to develop it.

The estate is one of two areas in the district that has been earmarked for significant expansion in the council’s Local Plan – which is currently awaiting consideration from the Planning Inspectorate.

Council leader Mark Robson said: “The expansion of this industrial estate is a key priority in our local plan which aims to boost the economic vitality of Hambleton..

“We can work collaboratively with one of the current tenants that is looking to expand his business so securing this land is vital.”

Dr Ives agreed that officers should continue negotiations with landowners and work with the interested buyer to build a business case for the land use. He added that officers should commission a masterplan for the site.