Retail expert slams ‘flawed’ Skipton superstore bid

Craven Herald: ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: Wyvern Park – developers say Sainsbury’s is needed to pay for the infrastructure to serve the rest of the industrial and retail park ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: Wyvern Park – developers say Sainsbury’s is needed to pay for the infrastructure to serve the rest of the industrial and retail park

A new Sainsbury’s store would lead to a “greatly reduced” selection of shops in Skipton town centre, a planning expert has claimed.

The retail expert, hired by Craven District Council to look at a plan to build the superstore on land between Waltonwrays Cemetery and Sandylands Sports Centre, also criticised evidence in support of the scheme as “flawed in some key areas”.

Martin Tonks of MT Town Planning points out that the addition of new stores at Albion Place (9 High Street) and Keelham Farm Shop had not been taken into consideration.

But the developers behind the Wyvern Park retail and industrial development scheme rejected the findings, and added that the superstore was needed to pay for the rest of the development which includes new business units.

Mr Tonks’ report reads: “There will be a cumulative impact on Skipton town centre arising from these developments that I consider is likely to be significantly adverse with greatly reduced diversity and consumer choice within the town centre. The proposal should not therefore be supported by the council.”

Brian Verity, of Skipton Properties, who has called on the town to oppose the application because of his feared negative impact on the town centre, said the review confirmed his worst fears.

“This is the wrong development in the wrong place. I previously objected to the application because I fear it will suck the life out of our High Street, and now the council’s own professional consultant agrees. Thank heavens the council has done the right thing in giving the Sainsbury’s application the close scrutiny it needs. Hopefully, they will now throw it out once and for all.”

Skipton Town Council has also raised concerns about the development and about some aspects of the developers retail assessment report.

A spokesman for Henry Boot said its retail specialists were reviewing the council’s retail assessment and would be responding in detail to the council.

He added: “However, we do not accept that our development will have a significantly adverse impact on the town centre.

“We are confident that the conclusions in our own retail assessment are correct and the criticisms raised made by Mr Tonks are not supported by the evidence.

“By providing an improved retail offer for Skipton we can help to retain more consumer spending in the town.

“Indeed our assessment shows that almost 30 per cent of expenditure on food and other convenience items is currently being spent outside the area.

“It is important to remember that the foodstore will help to fund the necessary infrastructure required for the business park, and it is only part of the Wyvern Park proposals.

“Skipton desperately needs new commercial space to allow existing businesses to stay and grow and to attract new companies to the town. If the planning application is approved, once complete Wyvern Park will deliver around 1,100 new local jobs.”

Comments (9)

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11:04am Thu 13 Feb 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

That's the trouble, they need the supermarket because of the industrial units, despite the adverse effect it will have on the rest of the town. We DON'T want or need the supermarket, and the whole development is too near the cemetery. A cemetery should be a peaceful place and not full of "Beep, beep, this vehicle is reversing", constantly being broadcast from behind a feeble row of trees.
That's the trouble, they need the supermarket because of the industrial units, despite the adverse effect it will have on the rest of the town. We DON'T want or need the supermarket, and the whole development is too near the cemetery. A cemetery should be a peaceful place and not full of "Beep, beep, this vehicle is reversing", constantly being broadcast from behind a feeble row of trees. Skipton Ratepayer

12:07pm Thu 13 Feb 14

TTcows says...

The developer requires the anchor of the supermarket because of the value they have paid or agreed to pay for the site. The land was earmarked for employment land and therefore if they chose to offer a higher land value based on retail than surely this was at their risk? The value paid for the land (above market value for land of this type) which was already designated should not influence a planning decision such as this.
The developer requires the anchor of the supermarket because of the value they have paid or agreed to pay for the site. The land was earmarked for employment land and therefore if they chose to offer a higher land value based on retail than surely this was at their risk? The value paid for the land (above market value for land of this type) which was already designated should not influence a planning decision such as this. TTcows

1:22pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Pulltheotherone says...

We dont want your supermarket here Henry Boot and now the experts say that your supermarket is not needed. LISTEN!
We dont want your supermarket here Henry Boot and now the experts say that your supermarket is not needed. LISTEN! Pulltheotherone

7:54pm Thu 13 Feb 14

skiptonnative says...

I’ve lived and worked in Skipton all my life and for as long as I can remember the high street has been lacking in diversity and customer choice. A new supermarket on the outskirts of town is obviously not going to help matters but how can it possibly make it worse? More shops are closing than opening and those that do open on are clones of the ones we already have. I think the large increase in employment this development will provide far out way the minimal impact of a supermarket.
I’ve lived and worked in Skipton all my life and for as long as I can remember the high street has been lacking in diversity and customer choice. A new supermarket on the outskirts of town is obviously not going to help matters but how can it possibly make it worse? More shops are closing than opening and those that do open on are clones of the ones we already have. I think the large increase in employment this development will provide far out way the minimal impact of a supermarket. skiptonnative

5:35pm Fri 14 Feb 14

tyc@clara.co.uk says...

The proposed development is totally car dependent and therefore unsustainable. The transport proposal only refers to heavy goods vehicles and makes no mention of public transport. The proposed junction on the A629 Skipton by-pass will impede the free flow of traffic, create a safety hazard, encourage rat running and defeat the purpose of the by-pass. Skipton already has three major supermarkets and a forth will be built this year. It does not need a fifth one which will seriously affect the viability of the town centre. Building a supermarket simply to justify business development is fundamentally wrong and Martin Tonks is absolutely right in his recommendations. Craven Council should take his advice.
The proposed development is totally car dependent and therefore unsustainable. The transport proposal only refers to heavy goods vehicles and makes no mention of public transport. The proposed junction on the A629 Skipton by-pass will impede the free flow of traffic, create a safety hazard, encourage rat running and defeat the purpose of the by-pass. Skipton already has three major supermarkets and a forth will be built this year. It does not need a fifth one which will seriously affect the viability of the town centre. Building a supermarket simply to justify business development is fundamentally wrong and Martin Tonks is absolutely right in his recommendations. Craven Council should take his advice. tyc@clara.co.uk

7:38pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Skipton man says...

And as for Verity of Skipton properties worrying about Skipton, forget it, he's just interested in himself as he's always been.
And as for Verity of Skipton properties worrying about Skipton, forget it, he's just interested in himself as he's always been. Skipton man

1:03pm Tue 18 Feb 14

GiantOne33 says...

Skipton man wrote:
And as for Verity of Skipton properties worrying about Skipton, forget it, he's just interested in himself as he's always been.
Totally agree Skipton man. Verity is only against the development because he wants it for his own housing project.
What would be a good idea is if Tesco buy the old Nick Smiths site on Gargrave Road for a Tesco Express and Petrol Station.
[quote][p][bold]Skipton man[/bold] wrote: And as for Verity of Skipton properties worrying about Skipton, forget it, he's just interested in himself as he's always been.[/p][/quote]Totally agree Skipton man. Verity is only against the development because he wants it for his own housing project. What would be a good idea is if Tesco buy the old Nick Smiths site on Gargrave Road for a Tesco Express and Petrol Station. GiantOne33

6:18pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

Pulltheotherone wrote:
We dont want your supermarket here Henry Boot and now the experts say that your supermarket is not needed. LISTEN!
When you say 'we don't want your supermarket' on whose behalf are you writing? There are many in Skipton who do want the supermarket. Have to conducted a poll to determine who is in the majority?
[quote][p][bold]Pulltheotherone[/bold] wrote: We dont want your supermarket here Henry Boot and now the experts say that your supermarket is not needed. LISTEN![/p][/quote]When you say 'we don't want your supermarket' on whose behalf are you writing? There are many in Skipton who do want the supermarket. Have to conducted a poll to determine who is in the majority? Mart56

9:56pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Skipton man says...

GiantOne33 wrote:
Skipton man wrote:
And as for Verity of Skipton properties worrying about Skipton, forget it, he's just interested in himself as he's always been.
Totally agree Skipton man. Verity is only against the development because he wants it for his own housing project.
What would be a good idea is if Tesco buy the old Nick Smiths site on Gargrave Road for a Tesco Express and Petrol Station.
But that's already taken by Keelham Farm Shop, to open later in the year I think. Anyway I wouldn't like another Tesco around here, a Lidl would be good though :)
[quote][p][bold]GiantOne33[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Skipton man[/bold] wrote: And as for Verity of Skipton properties worrying about Skipton, forget it, he's just interested in himself as he's always been.[/p][/quote]Totally agree Skipton man. Verity is only against the development because he wants it for his own housing project. What would be a good idea is if Tesco buy the old Nick Smiths site on Gargrave Road for a Tesco Express and Petrol Station.[/p][/quote]But that's already taken by Keelham Farm Shop, to open later in the year I think. Anyway I wouldn't like another Tesco around here, a Lidl would be good though :) Skipton man

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