Bettys boss opposes retail park expansion bid

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THE managing director of Bettys tea rooms has added the company’s voice to opposition growing against a controversial new retail development on the outskirts of York.

The proposed expansion of the Monks Cross retail park to attract showpiece retailers such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis as well as housing a long-awaited sports stadium, has sparked widespread anger over fears of the impact on the city centre.

Developers behind a £200m regeneration of York’s Castle Piccadilly district have said they will pull out of the scheme if the Monks Cross expansion goes ahead.

Earlier this week, The York Environment Forum lodged a formal objection claiming the plans, which go before York Council’s planning committee next month, have “no public mandate”.

Now formal objections have been lodged by the managing director of Barnitts, one of the city’s largest stores, and Linda Brunton-Douglas, managing director of Bettys and Taylor’s of Harrogate.

“At a time when the city centre has empty retail units and York already has extensive out-of-town shopping provision, we urge the council to weigh the long-term consequences of the Monks Cross proposals against the short-term benefits,” she said in a letter to the council.

Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd says the scheme will contribute £12m a year into the local economy and has stressed the retail expansion is vital to provide the funding for the community stadium to be built.