A NEW Sainsbury’s store will now be built in Whitby after the supermarket giant cleared the final hurdle towards getting full planning permission.
In July at a meeting attended by 400 people at Whitby Community College, Scarborough Borough Council’s planning committee approved plans for the supermarket to be built in Stainsacre Lane but turned down a bid by for a Tesco store which included affordable homes and a filling Station at High Stakesby.
But both decisions were plunged into uncertainty after Tesco appealed against the decision and the Sainsbury’s scheme was referred to the Government Office as a potential departure from policy.
Now the Government Office has confirmed the Secretary of State has decided not to challenge the decision by councillors.
Planning permission will be issued to Sainsbury’s once some legal matters have been finalised.
Rachel Wiggington from the Government Office said: “Having carefully considered the relevant planning issues raised by this proposal, together with all the representations received the Secretary of State has concluded that this intervention would not be justified.
“The application does not in the Secretary of State’s view raise issues of more than local significance which would require a decision by him. The decision as to whether to grant planning permission will therefore remain with the council.”
Kevin Macmillan, regional development executive from Sainsbury’s welcomed the decision.
He told the Whitby Gazette: “We’re delighted that The Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber has decided not to call-in our application. This is great news, not just for Sainsbury’s, but for the local community who currently have to travel to Scarborough, Teesside and York to do their weekly food shopping.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their time and effort in writing to the council, local ward councillors and the Government Office. This really is a victory for the local community of Whitby.”
West Cliff borough councillor Mike Ward who sat on the committee said having voted for the Sainsbury’s application at the planning committee he was “extremely pleased” to see that Sainsbury’s is finally approved.
“Competition and an east side supermarket are needed,” he said. “This decision will be welcomed by a majority of residents.
“I hope those who believe it will have an adverse effect will be proved wrong.
“The free hopper bus from Sainsbury’s into town should enable many residents to do additional shopping without the parking problem.
“Perhaps Sainsbury’s can now find a site for a petrol station.”
Sainsbury’s will make an announcement regarding a start on site as soon as a date is known.
The appeal by Tesco and its development partners S Harrison against the council’s refusal of planning permission is still pending and an inquiry is on the cards for next year.