IT is surprising that proposals for the former LMS football pitch in Skipton have been decided by planning officers using delegated powers.

That's not to say planning officers shouldn't make decisions, their's are made on local and national guidelines and after consideration of statutory and public comments and are increasingly the norm following local government reorganisation almost a year ago.

But, and it's a big but, this is a plan that has created great interest, and yet, it did not end up getting a good airing in front of councillors. Proposed is an improved grass pitch and two storey car park off Carleton New Road. This is a scheme that's been knocking around for years, way before the end of Craven District Council.

Last year, North Yorkshire Council carried out a consultation ahead of a masterplan for Sandylands Sports centre, dubbed Skipton's Sports Village.

Here, we have a plan for a new pitch and parking. Now, the car park is not the prettiest thing, it's debatable whether it's said purpose, to provide parking to stop workers parking outside peoples homes, would actually work. But this plan should have gone to planning committee where both supporters and objectors could have spoken before a decision was made by councillors.

If the applicants appeal, it will be interesting to see if the planning inspectorate chooses to rely on written submissions, or holds a public hearing.

It was recently said that the processing of Craven planning applications has improved since local government reorganisation, perhaps that has something to do with the fact councillors have very little to do with planning decisions these days.