A Harrogate councillor has called on the head of Tesco to scrap its plans to build a store in New Park, and give over the land for affordable housing instead.
In his letter to the company’s CEO, Dave Lewis, UKIP County Councillor David Simister – whose Bilton & Nidd Gorge division takes in the old gas works site – said this side of the town did not need another food store, but one and two bedroom flats and houses for first time buyers.
And, with Aldi just opening a supermarket on the other side of Skipton Road, he said Mr Lewis might admit that ship had already sailed!
Two years ago it was revealed that if Tesco were to press ahead with its proposals, then there would be ten months of significant disruption with four-way temporary traffic lights at the Little Wonder roundabout.
North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department urged them to look again, but as yet, they are still awaiting for a reply.
County Coun Simister said:
I have written to Tesco’s CEO urging him to think again about developing this particular site. What this part of Harrogate needs more than anything is affordable homes.
We have plenty of three, four and five bedroom homes either being built or in the planning stage. But what we don’t have is an affordable housing development, one that is 100 per cent affordable, and this is the ideal site.
Many young people are simply priced out of the local housing market, and have to either go into rented accommodation, or move away altogether.
Tesco needs to decide once and for all what its plans are for New Park. I hope Mr Lewis will take my letter seriously and recognise the town’s urgent need for affordable homes.
A Tesco spokesperson said:
We are aware of Councillor Simister’s letter and will respond in due course.