HUNDREDS of Scarborough residents took the opportunity to discuss plans for a new Tesco superstore yesterday.
Representatives of the supermarket giant as well as members of Scarborough’s Urban Space Group were on hand to meet members of the public.
The plans for the huge new town centre store remain controversial, with many opposed to the development but others saying they backed the plans.
The five-hour event, hosted by Scarborough Open Area Forum, was held at Scarborough Library yesterday.
Deborah Hayeems, regional corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said she was enjoying talking to people about the proposals.
“It’s nice to speak to people and get detailed feedback,” she said. “The plans are absolutely open to change. They’re not fixed yet.
“The Urban Space Group have given us some very good and detailed feedback. We’ve got to take it all and piece it all together.”
Nick Hart, chairman of the Urban Space Group, said he had been talking to Tesco over the past few months, in an attempt to influence their plans.
The group has submitted a series of proposals for consideration by Tesco architects.
“We decided to concentrate on five points of the plans which we thought were particularly weak,” he said.
Mr Hart said the group was concerned over plans for a 4.5 metre tall brick wall along part of Dean Road and the lack of an adequate “green corridor” which was included in the council’s planning brief for the site.
The group were also worried about the treatment of the old Dean Road prison and pedestrian entrances to the store.
As the final of the five points, Mr Hart presented alternative plans for two-tier parking at the store with links to the upper floor of the main shop.
“These are all things they can change to significantly improve what they are proposing,” he added.
“At the moment we’re not impressed. It smacks of something put together very quickly to a formula to get a planning application in.
“I think Scarborough is being treated very badly if we can’t get these things at least. Tesco can deliver them.
“At the moment whether you’re a hotelier, resident or shopkeeper this is adding nothing.”
Members of the public attending the event gave differing views on the Tesco plans.
Sandra Wood, of Cross Street, said she hoped the Tesco plans got the go-ahead.
“It will save me going through to Hull to the Tesco Extra there,” she said. “I think it’ll open up the whole of Dean Road as it’s an eyesore at the moment.
“I think the designs are quite nice. When you look at the virtual plans on video it is smart. I can’t wait.” Her husband Jack added: “It’ll be handy for us. I can’t wait for them to lay the first brick.”
However others were opposed, with familiar concerns of increased traffic and likely effects on smaller traders being raised. Elza Fail, who runs the Ellenby Hotel in Queens Parade, said she would oppose the planning application.
“It’s going to be right in the middle of all the tourist businesses,” she said. “It’s not going to be built overnight. With all the noise it’ll cause no-one will want to stay nearby.”
Malcolm Short, who lives in the central ward close to the proposed development, said: “For the plans to go ahead would be totally wrong.
“Trafalgar Street West should not be closed off. The store would be far too big for the residents in the area. It will be a 24-hour operation.
“Tesco say they are listening to people in Scarborough. Let them prove it.”
The planning application for the development was officially submitted to Scarborough Council in January.
If approved, the store would have a 5,472sq metre sales floor – three times the size of the current Westwood store, which will close if the new branch gets the all-clear.
A decision on the plans is expected to be made in April. The closing date for the public consultation period has been extended until the end of this month.