Controversial plans for a new supermarket in Easingwold would be bad for the town and should not be approved, according to a damning new report.
The independent research, commissioned by Hambleton District Council to help councillors reach a decision over the scheme, argues that the superstore would be damaging to the historic market town and would put town centre shops and markets at risk.
Retail planning consultants, England and Lyle, said the proposal was not in keeping with national planning policies designed to protect town centres and local businesses and if approved, would bring more harm than benefit to Easingwold, which is near York.
The proposals have caused outcry among residents and Easingwold Town Council has previously voted against the plans.
Terry Brown, from Keep Easingwold Special, a campaign group which has called a number of public meetings, said: “We are pleased Hambleton sought independent advice on this proposal and believe the only fair decision the planning committee can now make is to reject this inappropriate supermarket development.”
Last month the Yorkshire Post revealed that more than 2,000 residents and businesses around Easingwold have signed a petition against the proposals for a superstore which would cover more than 2,000sqm of the former Falcon Office Furniture site, claiming it will damage the area’s character and have a “devastating effect” on the town centre and market square.
The Retail Development Partnership, which has submitted the application which also includes a 130-space car park at the site, claims it will create jobs and provide more shopping options for residents.
It has not yet been confirmed which supermarket chain would operate the store if it is approved.
Hambleton District Council is expected to reach a decision on the supermarket proposal next month.