Bilton Tesco will be a danger to school yard

The Skipton pub on the corner of Skipton Road and Bilton Lane.
The Skipton pub on the corner of Skipton Road and Bilton Lane.

Tesco’s plans to convert a former pub in Bilton into a Tesco Extra have been heavily criticised.

Over 100 concerned parents have signed a petition at Bilton Grange School, opposing the planned conversion.

Head teacher Judith Ratcliffe said: “I am concerned about the proposed exit and entrance onto Bilton Lane. The safety of the children is of paramount importance.”

Due to a planning ‘loophole’, a change of use application is not required to convert the Skipton pub in Bilton into a supermarket. However Tesco’s application covers changing the access to the car park and new doors.

Mrs Ratcliffe added: “Given the number of shops in our area it is questionable as to wether this is a sensible proposal.”

Bilton resident Bob O’Neil commented on the planning application online and said: “I strongly object to this planning application particularly the change of the entrance to the premises as it will be directly opposite the school. I also believe there will be parking issues in the area.”

Mum of three Wendy Yates said the Tesco Express store is ‘unnecessary and unwanted’.

She said: “There is already a mix of local independent retailers and convenience stores such as the Co op, Mccolls and Sainsburys on Kings Road.”

The application has attracted over 50 comments online, though not all are negative. Bilton Dragon Bowling Green secretary, Sara Elsworth said: “The club has no objection. We look forward to having Tesco as our neighbours.”

A Tesco spokesperson said the new shop could create 20 jobs. Mark Thomas said: “We will be a good neighbour, provide a valuable service to residents and look to work with local charities.

“We held a consultation event and made changes to reflect the feedback we received, including improved landscaping and we’re exploring with the County Council whether we can make the access onto Bilton Lane a one-way exit.”