In a shock reversal of policy, Harrogate will remain the only major postcode in Britain without a Tesco.
In a decision seemingly prompted by tough market conditions, Tesco confirmed they havwe finally ditched their plans to build a superstore on the site.
Protesters who claimed a new Tesco’s was not needed in the town and would increase traffic congestion will be delighted by the news.
Plans were first submitted for the planned Skipton Road store as far back as 2009, but the Harrogate Advertiser has today received confirmation that it will not go ahead.
Tesco CEO UK & ROI Matt Davies said, “Following a detailed review we have taken the very difficult decision not to proceed with our planned Harrogate superstore.
“This decision was not taken lightly and we realise that many people locally will be disappointed.
“We are grateful for the support that has been shown for our plans over the years and our priority now will be to ensure the site is sold so that it can play a positive part in Harrogate’s future development.”
Cabinet Member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise. Coun Graham Swift has long been calling for Tesco to spell out its future direction on the issue in a clear way.
He said the decision would come as a surprise to some people.
He said: “I think there will be a lot of people pleased by this decision. People have been looking for clarity from Tesco. I, myself, asked for a clear direction last week in the Harrogate Advertiser and we’ve got it.
“It’s not the clarity many will have been expecting but it’s a positive step.
“Tesco UK’s trading situation has been well publicised. They’ve been facing a number of complex commercial issues so the decision is not a surprise in that context.
“It’s a challenge when a major employers commits to something and then changes its mind but the council’s job now is to open a positive dialogue with Tesco about the new future for the site.
“Although the council is in control of planning, we can’t make any promises about what the land will become.
“It’s still Tesco’s land, they still own it. We need to open new discussions to see if anything can be done with the site which will help people in the area and the town as a whole.
“We will be taking feedback from people to find out what they would like to see in the area.”