A WICKES DIY and Pets at Home have been revealed as part of a planned new retail park on the outskirts of Skipton.

If approved, the planned four new non-retail stores would take up part of the Guyson International factory site on Keighley Road - opposite the Rendezvous Hotel.

The stores would replace part of Guyson's existing factory buildings next to Keighley Road while the remaining part of the business would be extended.

The three phase development would start with the extension of the existing Guyson factory and work to the car park, followed by the partial demolition of the building next to Keighley Road, and finally the building of the new stores.

The joint application, between family firm Guyson, and Ilkley based developers, Opus North, is now under consideration by Craven District Council following a public exhibition last month.

But Malcolm Weaving, owner of the Rendezvous Hotel, said he had concerns because of what he felt was the park's potentially damaging impact on the town centre.

"I am not in favour of this development and believe all the pros and cons need to be carefully debated before a decision is made," he said.

Opus North and Guyson say the development will safeguard the future of Guyson, which designs and makes specialist cleaning equipment, has a world-wide reputation and recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The £6.5 million investment would protect more than 100 current jobs and create up to 50 more.

Around 95 per cent of those who attended last month's public exhibition of the plans gave their support.

"We are delighted that local residents share their enthusiasm for the scheme," said Andrew Duncan, managing director of Opus North.

"We believe our proposals would be good for both residents and businesses and that by bringing a store like Wickes to Skipton we would address a local need."

And James Thompson, managing director of Guyson International, said he had been encouraged by the response to the plans.

"These proposals are essential to allow Guyson to be more efficient and productive and will help to ensure that our Skipton site remains a centre of excellence, exporting all over the world, and most importantly, allow us to protect existing jobs."