Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
New Sainsbury's supermarket and business park planned for Skipton
A new business park including a Sainsbury’s supermarket and petrol station is being planned for the last remaining large site in Skipton.
Plans for the 58-acre site between Waltonwrays Cemetery and Sandylands Sports Centre could also include a hotel, pub and restaurant, it was revealed this week.
Developers Henry Boot say the site, to be known as Wyvern Park, will include 280,000 sq ft of new industrial/commercial space, with the potential of creating up to 800 jobs.
It will be serviced via a new link road from Carleton Road to the A629 Western bypass – so removing the need for HGVs to pass through the town centre.
The plan states that road improvements will also bring benefits to existing businesses on Engine Shed Lane and recently-announced flood alleviation work for the town will receive a “significant sum” from the developer.
Ben Ward, senior development surveyor for Henry Boot Developments, said the business park would allow local businesses to relocate locally and grow, as well as attracting new businesses to the area.
“This is probably the last remaining large site within Skipton that is suitable for business development and as such, gives us a great opportunity to provide the space and facilities that modern businesses need to prosper. We have already received strong interest from several businesses in Skipton who want larger premises, but simply cannot find what they need within the town,” he said.
“Our proposals would allow existing businesses to grow and thrive within Skipton, and avoid the very real prospect of relocating to other areas with more suitable premises available. Having Sainsbury’s committed to the scheme not only allows us to make vital contributions to improving local roads and flood defences, it will also create up to 300 jobs in its own right and offer greater choice and competition for Skipton supermarket shoppers.”
Andrew Sanderson, regional development executive for Sainsbury’s, said: “Sainsbury’s has long had an interest in operating a food store within the district.
“A Sainsbury’s food store would promote increased consumer choice and competition within the district, as well as making a provision of funding for local infrastructure improvements.”
Leader of Craven District Council, Councillor Chris Knowles-Fitton, said he was sure the proposals would have its objectors, but he was sure it was good news for Skipton.
“We are definitely short of employment land and there is a very clear demand from businesses outside the area to come here, and from existing businesses in Skipton who would like to relocate there,” he said.
Coun Knowles-Fitton said the area was currently like a “honey pot” for developers and businesses keen to come to a town which was bucking the national trend.
He said the contribution by the developers to the recently announced Government-backed £9.7 million flood alleviation scheme for the town would make up a substantial part of the £2 million to be raised by partner agencies and the private sector.
As well as reducing the flood risk to town properties, the two new storm reservoirs should mean more than 40 acres of the site will be able to be developed.
Coun Knowles-Fitton also welcomed the interest from Sainsbury’s, which he explained was necessary to fund the industrial side of the development.
“Morrisons, Tesco and Marks and Spencer will moan, but I’m not interested in that, and I don’t see that people will stop shopping in the High Street just because they’re going to Sainsbury’s,” he said.
He also believed a new hotel at the site would be considered acceptable competition by owners of other hotels in the area.
Henry Boot, which has built retail and business parks all over the country, including at Rotherham, York and Rochdale, bought the site, which had previously been marketed as Qube Business Park by a different company before it went into administration.
It is believed Asda was at one time interested in building a store on the site.