Businesses unite in Save Skipton bid to fight new superstore

Businesses unite in Save Skipton bid to fight new superstore

Businesses unite in Save Skipton bid to fight new superstore

First published in News
Last updated
Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Businesses have thrown their weight behind a “Save Skipton” campaign in a bid to stop Sainsbury’s from building in the town.

A planning application, including a superstore, hotel, pub and business park, on land between Waltonwrays Cemetery and Sandylands Sports Centre, is expected to go before Craven District Council’s planning committee next month. But following a meeting last week of more than 30 businesses at the town’s Rendezvous Hotel, opposition is mounting, with traders fearing the town will lose its recently revealed status as the best place to live in the country.

A questionnaire, delivered to 260 town centre businesses at the beginning of the year, was completed by 96, of which 74 were opposed to the supermarket, while ten were in favour and 12 were undecided.

Many traders are also asking residents and visitors to sign a petition and a deputation is expected to speak at April’s planning meeting.

Meanwhile, developer Henry Boot has responded to criticism by saying it would have liked the opportunity to attend the meeting.

“Had we been invited to attend this event, we would have stressed the benefits that the whole business park will bring to Skipton,” a spokesman said.

Bed and breakfast owner Mick Courcier said there were “numerous and grave” concerns voiced at Thursday’s meeting.

“Skipton has just been voted the best place to live in the UK. This was based on many factors including the fact that it has a ‘vibrant heart’ with individual shops which still thrive here, the market traders who sell their wares, the fact that everything the residents and visitors alike need is within easy walking distance,” he said. “They do not come here because of our four existing supermarkets and they will not come here to visit a fifth.”

Mr Courcier said it was his belief the development, if allowed, would destroy the town’s special character.

“We would run the very real risk of giving up that uniqueness which is our ‘X-factor’ and becoming just another lifeless town in the UK that was once a thriving centre.”

Chris McGrath, owner of Wonder in Wood, Otley Street, added: “Some of our biggest strengths are our thriving High Street, independent shops and bustling market. As well as serving residents well, these attract visitors from far and wide which make Skipton the vibrant place it is today, the Sainsbury’s superstore plan puts all this at risk and must be stopped.”

But Henry Boot says there is a long, identified need for more business space in Skipton and it has spoken to many businesses and individuals who recognise that the development is vital for the town’s future economic prosperity.

“Without new modern commercial space to attract businesses and to enable existing companies to stay and grow, Skipton risks losing out to other nearby towns,” said the spokesman.

“A foodstore is only one element of the Wyvern Park proposals, but is essential to the scheme’s success. The fact is that due to the exceptional high abnormal costs linked with the delivery of this scheme, it is simply unviable as a pure employment led development and only a foodstore will generate the investment required to enable the business park to come forward.”

The Sainsbury’s would also bring choice and competition and help keep consumer spending in the town, said the spokesman.

The Wyvern Park development - which the developers say will generate more than 1,000 new jobs - has already raised the objections from Skipton Town Council.

The application could be decided as early as April 7 by Craven District Council’s planning committee - although it is still to be confirmed whether it will be on the agenda or not.

Comments (11)

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8:12am Thu 27 Mar 14

giggwigg says...

“They do not come here because of our four existing supermarkets and they will not come here to visit a fifth.”

We do and would visit a fifth, usually take a walk up the High Street while in town but it's far from vibrant, empty shops, shops holding what seem like permanent closing down sales,charity shops and shops selling expensive wooden trinkets.
“They do not come here because of our four existing supermarkets and they will not come here to visit a fifth.” We do and would visit a fifth, usually take a walk up the High Street while in town but it's far from vibrant, empty shops, shops holding what seem like permanent closing down sales,charity shops and shops selling expensive wooden trinkets. giggwigg
  • Score: -2

8:38am Thu 27 Mar 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

We all want the rest of the scheme, just not the Sainsbury's. I hope a way can be found to build the industrial units without the supermarket, though the scheme must not go ahead in any form without access from the bypass. Isn't there a source of European funding for rural deprivation? The wretched EU has to be good for something, and it might bridge the gap between needing a supermarket and being able to build without one.
We all want the rest of the scheme, just not the Sainsbury's. I hope a way can be found to build the industrial units without the supermarket, though the scheme must not go ahead in any form without access from the bypass. Isn't there a source of European funding for rural deprivation? The wretched EU has to be good for something, and it might bridge the gap between needing a supermarket and being able to build without one. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: -14

2:57pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Kat C says...

Road links to the new development are a worry. I expect users from East Lancashire will continue to use Carleton as a cut through, rather than use the bypass and the proposed access from the bypass. The 20 and 30mph speed limits through the centre of the village are consistently ignored especially at peak periods. A new development will increase this traffic which Carleton doesn't need.
Road links to the new development are a worry. I expect users from East Lancashire will continue to use Carleton as a cut through, rather than use the bypass and the proposed access from the bypass. The 20 and 30mph speed limits through the centre of the village are consistently ignored especially at peak periods. A new development will increase this traffic which Carleton doesn't need. Kat C
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Thu 27 Mar 14

steve10 says...

The funniest thing about this scheme was reported in an earlier article SKIPTON PROPERTIES had actually said that the planning application should be TURNED DOWN as it was NOT in the best interest of the town (or words to that effect) ,
Now that's funny
The funniest thing about this scheme was reported in an earlier article SKIPTON PROPERTIES had actually said that the planning application should be TURNED DOWN as it was NOT in the best interest of the town (or words to that effect) , Now that's funny steve10
  • Score: 13

1:38am Fri 28 Mar 14

John Civis says...

Come on you Skipton folk ! Stop moaning ! You've just managed to obtain an ALDI supermarket - the firm that has won the WHICH? award for the best supermarket twice in the last three years.

All the Big Foyur supermarkets such as Morrison, Tesco, Sainsbury and ASDAe running scared of the likes of ALDI and LIDL.

Nobody is going to twist your arm up your back to make you shop at sainsbury's ; it's still your choice where you shop..so don't be so feckless.
Come on you Skipton folk ! Stop moaning ! You've just managed to obtain an ALDI supermarket - the firm that has won the WHICH? award for the best supermarket twice in the last three years. All the Big Foyur supermarkets such as Morrison, Tesco, Sainsbury and ASDAe running scared of the likes of ALDI and LIDL. Nobody is going to twist your arm up your back to make you shop at sainsbury's ; it's still your choice where you shop..so don't be so feckless. John Civis
  • Score: 5

10:26am Fri 28 Mar 14

Debacle says...

Further to my recent letter acknowledging your comments on the above proposal, I am writing to inform you that the above application is an item on the agenda at the next Planning Committee on 7 April 2014. The meeting will commence at 1.35 pm in the Belle Vue Suite, Craven District Council, 1 Belle Vue Square, Broughton Road, Skipton, BD23 1FJ.
If you are not already aware, there is the opportunity for applicants, agents and objectors to address the Planning Committee prior to consideration of the application at the Committee meeting. A leaflet detailing further information and the procedure to follow can be downloaded at http://www.cravendc.
gov.uk/article/1786/
Planning-Committee. I would draw your attention to the fact that the normal procedure allows only one person to speak on behalf of each of the following interested parties: -

i) The Objectors
ii) The Parish Council/Meeting
iii) The Applicant/Supporters

However, given the level of interest in this application the procedure has been relaxed to allow up to three people to speak on behalf of the objectors and up to three people to speak on behalf of the supporters / the applicant at the meeting.
If there are a number of you who have an interest in the application (e.g. there are several objectors who would like to speak) you are strongly advised to co-ordinate your statements prior to the Committee Meeting, and thus avoid confusion and delay at the meeting. Please note that each speaker has up to five-minutes to speak; in the interests of fairness the applicant will be allocated up to 15 minutes.
The Council’s Officers are impartial and this impartiality should be maintained. As such I regret that they are unable to advise anyone about what they should say when addressing the Committee.
If you will be attending the Committee Meeting I would be grateful if you could contact Chris Waterhouse (Committee Clerk) by telephone (01756 706235) or by letter prior to the meeting. Committee papers are normally available for inspection at the Craven District Council, 1 Belle Vue Square, Skipton, BD23 1FJ, or by following the above web link, no later than 5 working days before the meeting
Further to my recent letter acknowledging your comments on the above proposal, I am writing to inform you that the above application is an item on the agenda at the next Planning Committee on 7 April 2014. The meeting will commence at 1.35 pm in the Belle Vue Suite, Craven District Council, 1 Belle Vue Square, Broughton Road, Skipton, BD23 1FJ. If you are not already aware, there is the opportunity for applicants, agents and objectors to address the Planning Committee prior to consideration of the application at the Committee meeting. A leaflet detailing further information and the procedure to follow can be downloaded at http://www.cravendc. gov.uk/article/1786/ Planning-Committee. I would draw your attention to the fact that the normal procedure allows only one person to speak on behalf of each of the following interested parties: - i) The Objectors ii) The Parish Council/Meeting iii) The Applicant/Supporters However, given the level of interest in this application the procedure has been relaxed to allow up to three people to speak on behalf of the objectors and up to three people to speak on behalf of the supporters / the applicant at the meeting. If there are a number of you who have an interest in the application (e.g. there are several objectors who would like to speak) you are strongly advised to co-ordinate your statements prior to the Committee Meeting, and thus avoid confusion and delay at the meeting. Please note that each speaker has up to five-minutes to speak; in the interests of fairness the applicant will be allocated up to 15 minutes. The Council’s Officers are impartial and this impartiality should be maintained. As such I regret that they are unable to advise anyone about what they should say when addressing the Committee. If you will be attending the Committee Meeting I would be grateful if you could contact Chris Waterhouse (Committee Clerk) by telephone (01756 706235) or by letter prior to the meeting. Committee papers are normally available for inspection at the Craven District Council, 1 Belle Vue Square, Skipton, BD23 1FJ, or by following the above web link, no later than 5 working days before the meeting Debacle
  • Score: -4

10:32am Fri 28 Mar 14

paperboy70 says...

John Civis wrote:
Come on you Skipton folk ! Stop moaning ! You've just managed to obtain an ALDI supermarket - the firm that has won the WHICH? award for the best supermarket twice in the last three years.

All the Big Foyur supermarkets such as Morrison, Tesco, Sainsbury and ASDAe running scared of the likes of ALDI and LIDL.

Nobody is going to twist your arm up your back to make you shop at sainsbury's ; it's still your choice where you shop..so don't be so feckless.
Well said John! People aren't going to stop shopping in the town centre because a Sainsbury's has opened, it's just ridiculous!
[quote][p][bold]John Civis[/bold] wrote: Come on you Skipton folk ! Stop moaning ! You've just managed to obtain an ALDI supermarket - the firm that has won the WHICH? award for the best supermarket twice in the last three years. All the Big Foyur supermarkets such as Morrison, Tesco, Sainsbury and ASDAe running scared of the likes of ALDI and LIDL. Nobody is going to twist your arm up your back to make you shop at sainsbury's ; it's still your choice where you shop..so don't be so feckless.[/p][/quote]Well said John! People aren't going to stop shopping in the town centre because a Sainsbury's has opened, it's just ridiculous! paperboy70
  • Score: 6

11:38am Tue 1 Apr 14

yorklet says...

People who like shopping at Sainsburys will visit Skipton if it's their local store instead of shopping at Keighley, Clitheroe, Colne or Burnley.
If anything the new store will increase the numbers shopping in Skipton. If we visit Skipton we visit the high street and have lunch or a coffee before doing a big shop at one or more of the supermarkets.
People who like shopping at Sainsburys will visit Skipton if it's their local store instead of shopping at Keighley, Clitheroe, Colne or Burnley. If anything the new store will increase the numbers shopping in Skipton. If we visit Skipton we visit the high street and have lunch or a coffee before doing a big shop at one or more of the supermarkets. yorklet
  • Score: 3

6:27pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Mart56 says...

A new Sainsburys will be competing with the existing supermarkets which is a good thing as it will keep prices in check - look at petrol prices in Keighley compared to Skipton. I don't see a new supermarket having that much affect on the high street shops. If I want a new bike or some decent outdoor clothing I won't go to a supermarket.
A new Sainsburys will be competing with the existing supermarkets which is a good thing as it will keep prices in check - look at petrol prices in Keighley compared to Skipton. I don't see a new supermarket having that much affect on the high street shops. If I want a new bike or some decent outdoor clothing I won't go to a supermarket. Mart56
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Skiptonianist says...

A few questions spring to mind on this:

A: The article states "A questionnaire, delivered to 260 town centre businesses at the beginning of the year". Does Skipton even have 260 town centre businesses?

B: Why are they limiting the questionnaire to businesses? That's a bit one sided isn't it? Doesn't seem like a fair spread to me? What about asking residents too?

Personally, I'm all for it. I'm sure Sainsbury's wouldn't be making the outlay if they didn't feel they could make some money in the long term, so demand must be there. And those folk who don't want the high street to suffer can keep on shopping on the high street. Nobody is forcing them to use the supermarket. They have to realise though, that not everybody can afford the time or the money that it takes to do a weekly shop spread over the many town centre shops you would have to visit.
A few questions spring to mind on this: A: The article states "A questionnaire, delivered to 260 town centre businesses at the beginning of the year". Does Skipton even have 260 town centre businesses? B: Why are they limiting the questionnaire to businesses? That's a bit one sided isn't it? Doesn't seem like a fair spread to me? What about asking residents too? Personally, I'm all for it. I'm sure Sainsbury's wouldn't be making the outlay if they didn't feel they could make some money in the long term, so demand must be there. And those folk who don't want the high street to suffer can keep on shopping on the high street. Nobody is forcing them to use the supermarket. They have to realise though, that not everybody can afford the time or the money that it takes to do a weekly shop spread over the many town centre shops you would have to visit. Skiptonianist
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Thu 3 Apr 14

giggleloader says...

It would be a shame if Skipton town centre missed out on all those Sainsburys shoppers who would carry on supporting Keighley, Clitheroe and Colne, instead of driving to Skipton, which may be nearer for them. Supermarket shoppers from out of town typically patronise other businesses in town during their visit.
It would be a shame if Skipton town centre missed out on all those Sainsburys shoppers who would carry on supporting Keighley, Clitheroe and Colne, instead of driving to Skipton, which may be nearer for them. Supermarket shoppers from out of town typically patronise other businesses in town during their visit. giggleloader
  • Score: 1

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