Tesco has received planning approval to open a supermarket and petrol station on the old gas works site, off Skipton road, near to the Ripon/ Skipton road roundabout.
There were two speakers that spoke in opposition.
A spokesperson for the Co-op said that it would have an impact on the existing Jennyfields Co-op that included a post-office, and a pharmacy, it was also an anchor for the community area.
Part of the S106 agreement with Tesco would be that it would make best endeavours to open a retail facility, if the Co-op were to close within 5-years. That replacement would not include a pharmacy or post office.
There was also discussion around why the trees that were lost were being replaced 10 miles away. Tesco is using a company called Environment Bank, that had land for use by developers.
Concern was raised that there would be a biodiversity loss, as the ground had been left unused for many years
Tesco’s said that they expected doctor’s surgeries to pick up the possible loss of a pharmacy, and the situation around the need for a post office was an evolving situation.
Concern was also raised around delivery noise/ Electric Avenue, although there was acoustic fencing, and Tesco’s said delivery times are managed.
Cllr Mann supported the scheme and was vocal about it being a well respected brand.
Cllr Marsh said it was not a site suitable for this development, saying the site should have been a park and ride, and raising concerns around a high pressure gas line under the build.
Cllr Matthew Webber, Member for New Park, was unable to attend, but submitted this statement to the meeting:
I had hoped to attend the planning meeting today to speak to you today in favour of this planning application but have been called away on urgent business in Northern Ireland and I am now unable to attend the meeting.
I come to the planning committee as both a ward member that has represented the area for 16 years and local resident having lived a couple of hundred yards from the site for over 35 years so I can say with confidence that I know the site and it’s long history well.
When I first arrived in Harrogate the site was used as a depot for British Gas / Transco after they moved out and cleared the site it has remained derelict and an eyesore. The site has been recognised as suitable for development with two previously approved planning applications for a larger TESCO superstore and later a mixed food/non-food retail park. The later application uses the same access as the current application and the floor area of the retail park is similar to that of the current application which is smaller than the original previously approved supermarket application.
The area of Harrogate where this development sits has been a major hub for housing growth through local plan allocations with multiple sites in the Saltegate, Duchy, Harlow Moor, Killinghall and Pennypot areas most of which have to use on a very congested Skipton Road to access supermarkets that are mostly on the other side of Harrogate. A facility like this is long needed that could facilitate a reduction is journeys from these sites and other residents on the western parts of our district across Harrogate that would also lead to associated carbon saving.
I would ask the committee to support and approve this planning application.
Votes for: 6, Votes against 4, Abstentions 0
A Tesco Spokesperson said:
We are excited to be moving forward with our plans for a new Tesco store on the former gas works site on Skipton Road which will transform a derelict brownfield site and provide local residents with easy access to our fantastic range of products.