KIRKBYMOORSIDE could become home to three leading supermarkets after planning permission was granted to a mystery company to build a store in the town.
A supermarket, which councillors at a Ryedale District Council planning meeting said they did not know the name of, was given permission to build a store on a site currently occupied by Ryedale Garages 1946, Piercy End.
The garage will relocate to the industrial estate, making the yet to be named supermarket potentially the third on the roundabout, which is near the A170.
A Co-op store is already located at the site and last month Mark Thomas, Tesco’s corporate affairs manager for the North, said the company was still interested in building on the former Russell’s Yard.
The owners of the mystery supermarket were granted permission at a planning meeting last Tuesday evening despite people raising concerns regarding traffic and the close proximity of Duncombe Terrace to the supermarket.
Lynne Jefford, who lives in Duncombe Terrace, was worried about access rights to houses in the street. She told councillors: “During the 33 years I have lived there, these access rights have been eroded. The report estimated that traffic visiting the food store would increase tenfold. The impact of that on the residents would be huge and extremely detrimental.”
Councillors at the meeting also raised concerns about the proximity of the store to the terrace and the increase of traffic the supermarket would bring on an already busy road.
Councillor Lindsay Burr said: “I think this is an absolute sacrilege to the people living in these terraces. We are going to double the impact of what is happening. I just don’t feel that it has been thought through – if or when we get our first accident we will think yes maybe we should have had another look at it.”
However, head of planning and housing at Ryedale District Council Gary Housden said the increase in traffic would encourage people to be more cautious and that it would act as a natural traffic calmer.
Mayor of Kirkbymoorside and chairwoman of the town council, Chris Dowie, said the town council’s concerns had been regarding the residents at Duncombe Terrace and whether the store car park would be large enough. She said: “Personally, I am not sure if there is a need or enough trade for three and I wouldn’t want to see our local shops closing.”
Councillor Dowie said she would work with the supermarket to agree negotiations to safeguard the future of the town’s independent shops as much as possible.
After recent negotiations with Tesco it was agreed that if a store does come to the town the firm will display an information board about Kirkbymoorside at the site, provide three hours of free parking and extend the cycle path from the roundabout to the primary school.
She said: “I think one of the big attractions of Kirkbymoorside is our independent shops. You can buy practically everything you need here and we wouldn’t like that to change.”