Parish council says ‘no’ to bigger store

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A Bewerley Parish Council meeting was packed out this week as around 50 residents turned out to hear the committee debate plans for a larger Costcutter in the area.

Keith Tordoff, chair of the Nidderdale Business Assoc-iation, said the hall was packed with people queuing out of the doors for the meeting.

He said: “So far we have got over 1,000 objections to the plans. It is massive; it will have a huge impact on the area. Local businesses are scared to death about what will happen if it gets permission.”

The parish council decided to object to the plans which would see the filling station’s convenience store extended to 2,500ft sq with two floors.

Town clerk Sophie Wallace said: “There was a high turnout of parishioners who felt strongly about the application. There was a healthy and constructive debate where all sides had the opportunity to air their views. Bewerley Parish Council resolved to object to the amended application and will be responding to Harrogate Borough Council accordingly.”

On April 5 Pateley Bridge Parish Council voted to raise no objections to the amended plans, despite objecting to the smaller plans last year.

Coun Chris Skaife, the Pateley Bridge Mayor who also sits on Bewerley Parish Council, said: “Everyone has their own opinion and we now have to wait for Harrogate Council to make a decision.”

Coun Skaife added: “In light of different housing proposals for the area, some people are saying that more choice is needed if these housing plans go ahead.”

Last week Costcutter founder and executive chairman Colin Graves told the Nidderdale Herald he thought Pateley Bridge High Street could benefit from a larger Costcutter which would keep people from travelling to Ripon or Skipton to do their shopping.

He said: “This will keep people in Pateley Bridge.”

Reader Alfred Bright wrote to the Herald to say: “Quite simply, it will make life much more difficult for some of the other established shop keepers in Pateley Bridge and also restrict parking in Bridgehousegate at the busy location/ road

junction.”

Mr Tordoff has also questioned why such a drastically different plan has been allowed to be lodged as an amendment, rather than requiring a full new planning application.

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: “The trustees of Costcutter made a planning application in September 2013 for an extension, which was subject to the statutory period of public consultation. Following this consultation period, the agents considered the feedback and requested time to revise their plans to seek to overcome areas of concern.

“The plans now being consulted on are the outcome of that revision process. Given the marked differences between the design of the development submitted in September 2013 and the new plans, the council decided to give the local community the opportunity to comment further on the proposals.

“It is important to note that this is not a new planning application, but an amendment to the existing application. All comments previously received are still valid and will be given due consideration when the application is determined.”

l What do you think? Email nidderdale.news@ypn.co.uk with your views.