Store plans refused

Exterior view
Exterior view

A second application to transform Boston Spa’s historic Crown Hotel into a convenience store has been rejected by city planners.

The Co-operative, which operates 3,000 stores across the country, this week told the News that they were disappointed with the outcome of their latest bid.

A spokesman for the Co-op, said: “The development would bring a new lease of life to an empty building, while conserving its external appearance.

“A Co-op store operates at the heart of communities, making a difference to local life.

“Along with the developer we are reviewing the outcome and considering the options available.”

The supermarket had applied for change of use to A1 retail for the Enterprise Inns owned building which had previously been subject to plans from Tesco.

But Leeds City Council last week refused the plans on the grounds of lack of space for deliveries and customer parking.

Officers stated: “Furthermore, it is considered there would be a significant increase in customer and delivery traffic associated with the proposed use that would use the site access and stretch of Church Lane between the site access and High Street, both of which are considered to be substandard, contrary to the safe and free operation of the surrounding highway network.”

Boston Spa Parish Council Chairman Steve Morritt said he agreed with the decision.

“The Parish Council opposed it on the same grounds. A store like this would just be in the wrong place. It is just a terrible junction.”

He said he hoped that Enterprise Inns would now find a new occupant.

“The building is deteriorating because of the lack of use for a number of years. Maybe now is the time to look at other options.”

Plans for a supermarket at the site were abandoned by Tesco in 2015 after fighting a long running battle to create an Express store at the High Street site.

Tesco targeted the Grade II listed Crown Hotel for development after it closed in 2012 and won a public inquiry to redevelop the site in October 2014, but it was handed back to the owner, Enterprise Inns in 2015.

In September 2015 the Crown Hotel was listed by Leeds City Council as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).