Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Work to begin on Skipton shops and restaurant scheme
Work is due to start soon on a shops and restaurant scheme for Skipton - even though the transfer of land is still to take place.
Maple Grove Develop-ments said this week that work was “imminent” on the demolition and redevelopment of the former clinic at 9 High Street.
A spokesman added that progress was also being made on the letting of the two café/restaurants on the site in addition to the four new shops on the car park behind the town hall.
But Craven District Council, which owns the sites, said it was still working towards the completion of the land transfer, although it was aware of the developers’ wish to start work in the new year.
In July, ward councillor Robert Heseltine called on the authority to give details of the agreement between it and Maple Grove.
He claimed the scheme was not needed or wanted and that the public had a right to be fully informed of the finer details.
The agreement was discussed in detail, but without the press and public present because of sensitive financial issues.
It is believed Pizza Express could move into 9 High Street, while Next and Brantano Shoes are likely to move into the new shops behind the town hall.
Graham Pilkington, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said the company was making good progress with lettings.
“We hope to be in a position to start on site in January next year with some preparatory work commencing imminently on the former clinic building at 9 High Street,” he said.
The scheme, part of Craven District Council’s ambitious Skipton Developments project, proved to be very controversial.
Maple Grove was chosen by the council as its development partner to take forward the scheme, but councillors were not happy with the design.
The council’s planning committee refused both an original application and a revised one. But despite calls by some councillors to Maple Grove to withdraw from the scheme, the company appealed against the council’s decision and was given approval by a government inspector.
A spokesman for Craven District Council said: “The council is currently working towards completion of the transfer of the land to Maple Grove following the granting of planning permission. The council understands that Maple Grove is working towards an early new year start date.”