Proposals for a new Skipton industrial estate are to be discussed today.

Craven District Council wants to extend the existing industrial estate on Engine Shed Lane into the neighbouring greenfield site.

It says it will allow existing businesses to grow and attract others into the area.

The scheme includes the possibility of a new waste site for the area to replace the Skibeden landfill site, whose contract to take waste is due to finish in 2015.

A large part of the new employment site, which floods, would remain open, although the Council plans to work with the Environ-ment Agency on flood mitigation work. Also planned are the creation of a new junction from the A629 Skipton bypass and the upgrade of Engine Shed Lane.

Council leader Councillor Chris Knowles-Fitton said: “The allocation of this site will enable the district to retain local businesses – businesses that have been started by local people and which provide jobs for local people.

“Without new land being made available, these businesses will be forced to move to other parts of the region to grow.”

Today’s drop-in session at Sandylands Sports Centre, Carleton Road, will give people chance to put questions to council planning officers and consultants drawing up a masterplan for the site.

Currently, the plan is to turn 32 acres (13 hectares) into employment land. The development would create space for a variety of businesses, from light industrial, research and development to storage.

Paul Shevlin, the Council’s chief executive, said the authority was committed to creating an environment to help new and existing businesses. David Smurthwaite, strategic manager for planning and regeneration, said economic forecasts varied greatly about the recovery.

“As such, it is necessary to plan for the long-term and ensure that the district has adequate land available to meet the requirements of the small to the medium-sized business as and when the economy begins to strengthen,” he said.

Today’s drop-in will be from 11am to 6.30pm and the consultation runs until Monday, July 4. Comments can be made at or by writing to Economic Development Unit, Craven District Council, Granville Street, Skipton BD23 1PS.