Tesco Express for Harrogate’s Skipton Pub

The Skipton pub on the corner of Skipton Road and Bilton Lane.
The Skipton pub on the corner of Skipton Road and Bilton Lane.

A Tesco Express store is coming to Skipton Road as permission is passed for access at the old Skipton Pub.

A huge row had erupted over the plans, with parents from Bilton Grange School worried about access issues as the store’s exit would be directly opposite the school gates.

But councillors at Harrogate Borough Council’s (HBC) planning committee meeting on Tuesday put forward an alternative solution - stopping traffic onto Bilton Lane at drop off and pick up times.

“The safety of children is paramount,” said Coun Anthony Alton, after a heated debate. “I would like to propose that a barrier be erected to be put up in times before school and after school, when children are passing.

“That lockdown will safeguard the children. For very brief periods every day, traffic will be diverted.”

There was much debate in the chamber, with several councillors raising concerns about safety issues at the site. The plan was eventually passed with a vote of 12 to three.

Due to a loophole in planning regulations, supermarkets do not need change of use planning permission to change a pub to a convenience store.

As a result, the only issue under consideration at Tuesday’s meeting was for access and new doors.

It still drew opposition from parents, with 51 letters of objection submitted, and a petition with 127 signatures.

See next week’s Advertiser for debate and reaction from parents and campaigners.