First image of new M&S plans

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PLANS for a new Marks and Spencer Simply Food in Harrogate will be shown to the public for the first time this weekend.

A consultation is being held to give residents a chance to have their say on the proposals for the Nidd Vale site in Leeds Road, which were revealed last month.

A planning application is due to be submitted by the end of the year by developer St James Securities and, speaking to the Advertiser this week, many people in the area said the proposals would be welcomed by the community.

David Setchfield, manager of butcher R P Setchfield in Mount Street, said: “I haven’t got too many objections because it has got the parking and the deliveries won’t be a problem.

“You only have to come round here at dinner time and you’ll see the extent of the parking problems. I think if people can park down there and have a look around all the shops, they may well do that.

“I’m a specialist, so I’m not worried about the competition. Our customers stay with us because we look after them.”

Shopper Patricia Scott, who is retired and regularly uses the pharmacy and Co-op in Leeds Road, said: “I would certainly shop at the new M&S.

“What I do object to is the idea of Sainsbury’s at the Mile Post. The congestion would be awful, there isn’t enough room for parking and Leeds Road is bad enough anyway.”

She said many older people would find the shop more convenient than going into the town centre to visit the larger M&S store.

But several people on Twitter this week objected to the plans.

Among them, Jesse Ridgway said: “I doubt this will happen due to the local Co-op and why should it happen? M&S already have an adequate food area in the town.”

The consultation takes place today, Friday, October 21 from 10am to 7pm and tomorrow, Saturday, October 22 from 10am to 1pm, at Nidd Vale. If it goes ahead, the development will see Nidd Vale Motors relocate to a purpose-built showroom at St James’s Business Park in Knaresborough.

Meanwhile, the Mile Post plans were due to go before the council’s district development sub-committee last night after being turned down by planners last week.

l For the full story, see this week’s Harrogate Advertiser.

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