Frustration over Sainsbury’s plan

tis  The Mile Post pub.  110323M4.

tis The Mile Post pub. 110323M4.

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DOZENS of objections have been lodged against plans to turn a pub into a convenience store.

The application for the Mile Post in Leeds Road is due to be considered by planners in September.

But residents from around the Oatlands area have argued the proposed Sainsbury’s is unnecessary and will create more problems with traffic, as well as impacting on other nearby businesses.

Coun Pat Jones, who represents the Stray ward where the Mile Post is situated, has asked for the application to be decided by the planning committee, rather than by a planning officer, because of the strength of feeling of neighbours.

She said: “I love Sainsbury’s, but I don’t feel that’s the correct place for a Sainsbury’s Local.

“It’s so dangerous with all the traffic congestion around that area at the moment. With more people, big delivery lorries, children going to school - it just worries me intensely.”

One resident, Jonathan Bennett, registered his objections online and said: “I, like many others, must strongly object to another supermarket being given permission to reside on the A61 in Harrogate in such close proximity to an existing supermarket and other local shops.

“The only additional changes they will bring to this part of Leeds Road is an increase in traffic and parking chaos.

“The existing local infrastructure will be put at considerable risk if this ridiculous application is granted.”

James Brook, a committee member of the Harrogate and Ripon branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CamRA) also lodged his objections, saying: “We are worried about the increasing numbers of community pubs being closed by the major pubcos who seek change of use often because of their failure to financially manage their businesses properly.

“Many failing pubs are now successful having been sold on and re-opened and can trade profitably under new ownership.”

Harrogate Council’s economic development officer Alan Sandy said he had no objections to the proposals, but engineer Tim Simpson of North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department raised concerns and said he needed much more information to be able to make a recommendation on whether the application should be passed.

Because public houses and supermarkets fall under the same category of use, planners will not be making a decision on the change of use of the site. Instead, they will be making a decision on the proposed extension.

Coun Jones urged everyone to make their views known, saying even if people had commented on the previous application which was withdrawn earlier this year, they had to speak out again.

To view the application, visit www.harrogate.gov.uk, click on Planning and use reference 11/02706/FUL.