‘Huge concern’ among town’s traders who failed to get supermarket shelved

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It is the development that garnered national attention after broadcaster Selina Scott weighed in with her opposition.

The news last week that a developer would be granted planning permission to build a supermarket at Wentworth Street in Malton brought much concern to town’s traders, who have been working to try to prevent it going ahead.

Despite more than 2,000 people, including Ms Scott, who lives near the town, having signed a petition opposing the development, GMI Holbeck Land was given the go-ahead by planners.

The company has said the scheme will create up to 290 local jobs but Denys Townsend, chairman of Malton and Norton Business in Action, said that the new supermarket would probably detract from the town centre’s independent traders’ business and have a knock-on effect for the local supply chain.

“It is obviously going to be a concern. Supermarkets will not be able to offer the range of service and advice we can give to people.

“But what a supermarket can offer is a one-stop shop, as well as so-called bargains in the form of discounts.

“Malton is a beautiful market town which we desperately do not want to lose the independent sector from.

“It is not just the shops but the supply chain it supports. There is huge concern among traders.”

Mr Townsend, who runs the Linton Pet Shop in Malton’s Market Place, said he was surprised by the Yorkshire Post’s figures which showed some 20 stores were not trading full time.

“A few months ago I did my own head-count and saw around 23-24 vacant shops. I did it again in February and there were 14-15, which is the norm. I think any discussion of Malton should include the fact that there have been eight or nine shops reoccupied in the town.

“These people thought that Malton had a future, although this was before the supermarket issue was brought into account.”