SAINSBURY’S supermarket have ended speculation about their plans for Wetherby by submitting final proposals for a store at the entrance to the town.
The revised plans - which Sainsbury’s say are “significant” - were submitted to Leeds City Council last Thursday after months of interest in the site of the Mercure Hotel, formerly the Ramada Jarvis.
The proposed store is smaller than the original proposal - reduced from 30,000 sq ft to 25,000 sq ft in size, and includes the relocation of the customer cafe to the ground floor, allowing the height of the building to be reduced.
Also included are 240 parking spaces and pedestrian access to the site via Micklethwaite Grove, connecting the store to the town centre.
Jo Hawley, Regional Development Executive for Sainsbury’s, said: “We received a huge amount of feedback from the public consultation, which we have tried to incorporate into these final plans.
The spokesman continued: “The plans represent a significant investment in Wetherby, and the changes we have made show our commitment to working with residents, traders and other stakeholders in Wetherby to ensure a new Sainsbury’s store is of genuine benefit to the whole community.
“By reducing the size of the store, we have been able lower the height of the building, retain more trees and address some of the local traders’ concerns that the store was “too big”.
“We still firmly believe that a new foodstore in Wetherby would benefit the town, and our consultation found that many people currently shop away from Wetherby, including other Sainsbury’s stores in Harrogate and Leeds.
“Should the plans be approved, the new store could create around 150 new jobs.”
Sainsbury’s Local store on Crossley Street will also remain open.
The final decision on the application will be made by councillors in the coming months, with a decision expected in 13 weeks at the latest.
Wetherby ward councillor John Procter said he was “extremely disappointed” with the plans.
“There are no fundamental changes to the plans at all,” he said.
“After months of public consultation and concerns raised by residents and shop traders I can only say that the people of Wetherby have had their time wasted.”
Shop trader Nish Kanabar, owner of Castlegate Post Office and Castlegate Toys, said the revised plans make no difference to those opposing a supermarket store in Wetherby.
“This does not make any difference to us as shop traders.
“In my opinion they have just amended the plans slightly and nothing has changed at all.
“We will still object to the proposal.
“My main priority now is just to concentrate on our own business and then continue working hard in the town to promote local business.”