Mystery surrounds the sudden arrival of a campaign poster in Pannal which urges residents to ‘say no to the Co-op.’
Pannal residents say they don’t know who put up the banner, and concerns have been raised that it does not represent the views of everyone.
Anne Smith who has lived in Pannal for most of her life said: “I think some of the elderly people would want a Co-op. It was a bit of a shock to see the poster and no-one knows where it has come from.”
After months of speculation over the future of The Harwood pub at Pannal station, the Co-op group finally admitted it had bought the site to convert into a convenience store last month.
Mrs Smith said: “The pub owners were a bit devious about it, we didn’t know it was being sold and for months we heard rumours that Sainbury’s or Co-op were going to take over it before this.”
Pannal Village Association member, Renee Dickinson, who is against the Co-op’s plans said: “We didn’t even know it was up for sale, people in the village might have been interested in buying it.
“Greene King said they were looking for a new manager and someone would move in shortly. Residents say we don’t need a Co-op in Pannal, after all M&S have just built a shop on Leeds Road and the village is served by a very good small shop and Post Office with fresh fruit and veg.”
The Harwood is the third Harrogate pub to be snatched up by supermarket giants this year, after The Harrow on Knaresborough Road was converted to an M-local and Tesco revealed plans for The Skipton on Skipton Road.