Tesco have announced this morning (19 October 2016) that they have permanently halted plans for a Tesco store on New Park in Harrogate.
Tesco say that they will now be opening a dialogue with Harrogate Borough Council and will be looking for expressions of interest in the land.
Tesco CEO UK & ROI Matt Davies said:
Following a detailed review we have taken the very difficult decision not to proceed with our planned Harrogate superstore. This decision was not taken lightly and we realise that many people locally will be disappointed.
We are grateful for the support that has been shown for our plans over the years and our priority now will be to ensure that the site is sold so that it can play a positive part in Harrogate’s future developments.
County Councillor David Simister, who last month wrote to Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis urging him to plug the plug on the New Park site, said he was delighted by today’s announcement:
This is wonderful news, and I my hope is that a housing development solely for first-time buyers can be created here. This is what Harrogate is crying out for and this is the ideal location.
Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise said:
We are disappointed that Tesco will not be proceeding with their plans to build a new superstore at Skipton Road in Harrogate, but we welcome the clarity that the news has brought to the situation.
The development would have created new jobs and brought significant investment to the town, and the council remains supportive of development opportunities on the site that achieves that ambition. We must now look to the future and consider how the land can be used for the benefit of the community.
The site has remained empty for too long and needs to be developed as a matter of priority. Tesco are still the landowners, and we are currently seeking clarification about their disposal plans.
Whilst we would be keen for Tesco to dispose of the site as soon as possible, it is imperative that any proposed future use is right for Harrogate. It is our intention to work closely with Tesco to ensure that we can influence their plans for the disposal of the site and find a solution which is in the best interest of residents, businesses and the town.