Harrogate councillor raises residents' concerns over tree felling to Tesco as work starts on new store
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After being granted full planning permission for a 3,651 sq m store, petrol station and 209-space car park on the former gasworks site off Skipton Road, the supermarket giant has began work to cut down trees for a new roundabout for traffic.
The latest turn of events has further alarmed local residents who have already expressed concerns about potential pollution because of hazardous contamination in the ground and the impact on the local environment.
They are being backed by Liberal Democrat Monika Slater, who represents Bilton Grange and New Park on North Yorkshire Council.
"I have spoken with the Highways department at North Yorkshire Council who confirm that Tesco did not have approval to carry out the work and it could have been a danger to the public.
"This does not bode well for the rest of the build and calls into question whether safety and environmental guidelines will be followed.”
But North Yorkshire Council says there had been “no breaches of planning” at the site of the new Tesco in Harrogate.
Dick Turpin, the council’s planning manager for the Harrogate area, said: “Tesco is removing the trees in line with planning permissions.
"Therefore, there are no breaches of planning control to investigate.
“However, planning officers will continue to monitor the situation as the development progresses.
Tesco previously submitted details of the measures it proposes to take to mitigate against the ecological impact, as well as a flood risk assessment and a risk assessment relating to a high pressure gas pipeline on site.
A Tesco spokesperson told the Harrogate Advertiser: “We take our obligations with regards to safety of residents very seriously, as we do with all planning and building projects - and this will remain front of mind throughout the build.
“We have worked very closely with council officers and the planning committee every step of the way to agree the final design of our new Harrogate store and we will ensure that all work is carried out in line with agreed conditions."