New shop announced as developers submit Ripon M&S plans

Proposed Ripon M&S
Proposed Ripon M&S
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Multi-million pound plans that would see the return of Marks & Spencer to Ripon have been officially submitted to Harrogate Borough Council.

The developers behind the scheme, Rothstone Estates, have also revealed the plans include Pets at Home taking up one of the development's three smaller units.

If approved, the plans would see M&S returning to Ripon in a site off Rotary Way, seven years after closing their original store in the city.

The £10m scheme has already attracted widespread support across the city, including backing from the Ripon Chamber of Trade.

Mark Rothery, managing director of Rothstone, said he was "excited" that the proposals for an M&S Foodhall in Ripon had now been submitted.

He said: “We’re delighted with the response and have submitted an application for a development that we believe will bring real benefits to the city.

“We have had some very positive discussions with a number of retail occupiers who are interested in coming to Ripon and taking one of the smaller units alongside the M&S store."

A Pets at Home spokesperson said: "We already have stores in Harrogate and Northallerton offering our unique product range and customer service and have been looking to open a store in Ripon for some time.

"We hope to bring the Pets at Home experience to the town in the near future.”

More than 230 people attended a public exhibition in February on the proposals, with the majority welcoming the development.

However, during a Ripon City Council Planning Committee in February, Coun Andrew Williams expressed concerns that the store would not be built in the city centre.

As a result, the council wrote to Rothstone Estates asking them to consider opening the store at a city centre premises but the proposals remain at the Rotary Way site.

Mr Rothery explained the proposed development would be connected into the existing footpath network and would be accessed via a junction off the Ripon bypass roundabout.

A new bus service has also been proposed to connect the development to other shops and services in the city centre, encouraging people to shop in Ripon.

The investment would also create around 80 new full and part-time jobs for the city, in addition to those created during construction.

The plans can be viewed online at www.riponconsultation.co.uk and residents can keep up to date with the project on Facebook by searching ‘Ripon consultation’ and on Twitter @Riponconsult.