Events have moved rapidly since Tesco announced earlier this week they had given up plans to build a superstore in Harrogate.
Today comes news that Tesco have put the New Park site up for sale.
And the retail giant has already appointed Savills Leeds and Davison Blackett Newcastle as agents to handle the sale
The Tesco Objectors Group welcomed the news and said they expected ‘for sale’ to be erected on-site today or tomorrow.
Tesco ditches Harrogate superstore plan
The group has fought a long campaign against the planned Tesco Superstore at New Park having undertaken extensive research and then drawn up a detailed list of ten reasons for saying NO to Tesco.
The campaign has been led by Brian Dunsby, former Chief Executive of Harrogate Chamber, County Councillor David Simister, and Bob Jones, Business Consultant and Killinghall resident.
Brian said: “This is the news we have been campaigning for over many years and it’s a relief to finally have confirmation from Tesco that the store will not be built.
“Now we need to consider and lobby for what Harrogate really needs at New Park - such as an extension to Ripon Way Business Park creating local employment and space for growing businesses, affordable housing at the northern end nearer the Skipton Road, plus a park and ride site and coach parking on the upper level nearest to the Ripon Road.
“The shortage of development land near the Town Centre makes it imperative that the New Park site is developed on a multi-purpose basis for small businesses and affordable housing for local employees in order to meet the needs of the local economy. It should not be used for any other superstore or for up-market housing.
“The higher level land along the Ripon Road would be ideal for a Park & Ride site taking advantage of the frequent No 36 buses along the Ripon Road. Hopefully there should also be some space for a coach park for the many groups of visitors to Harrogate all the year round, who are such a vital part of the local economy.”
Sandra Doherty, the new CEO of Harrogate District Chamber, said: “In some ways it is disappointing that Tesco have decided not to proceed with their planned store at New Park. But for the most part I would see this as an opportunity to research the best use of this valuable site.
“This could have an impact on many missing elements of the Harrogate District Plan bringing not just jobs but hopefully a coach park which would see a big improvement to the accessibility for day visitors. This is such a large site that affordable housing and small business units could also form part of a cohesive plan. Now that we have Aldi at this end of the town the need for another Supermarket doesn’t seem as important as it once was.”
Campaigner Bob Jones added: “The council should be pro-active in delivering both planning permission to the site and in lobbying for central government financial support to clean up the site.”
Coun Simister said: “This is wonderful news, and 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.