£20m 'Morrisons' supermarket gets go-ahead - but Cottingham traders say it signals 'death knell'
A £20m supermarket development in Cottingham has been given the go-ahead.
The new store earmarked for a site in Station Road is expected to create up to 250 jobs.
Morrisons is currently in talks with developers behind the project to operate the new supermarket.
The issue has divided opinion among residents and traders in the village since proposals were first unveiled more than a year ago.
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A similar divide emerged between councillors at yesterday's East Riding planning committee before an 8-3 vote in favour of approval subject to a number of legal agreements being finalised.
The application by Station Road Retail Ltd had attracted two petitions objecting to the development with a combined total of 1,567 signatures.
Another 240 individual letters opposing the plan were also submitted to the council.
Peter Duffuss, who represented residents at the committee, said the go-ahead for the scheme signalled the "death knell" for existing traders in Cottingham.
"This is akin to driving a few more nails into their coffin," he said.
Mr Duffuss, who lives in Thwaite Street, said already-congested roads in the village, struggling to cope with traffic tailbacks caused by two railway level crossings, would be made much worse by the decision.
He also pointed to the main access to the store being at the end of a cul-de-sac linked to an ordinary residential street.
He claimed this meant the scheme was quite different from other supermarket developments where new stores were invariably located next to major roads.
Councillor Lena Slater, who represents Cottingham, also spoke out against the development, although she was not on the committee.
After the vote, she said: "I am very disappointed.
"It will bring an irreversible change to the village.
"The new jobs being quoted are all very well but jobs will also be lost because of the impact on existing businesses.
"The council's own retail consultants have said it will have a significant adverse effect on the village.
"They predict 34 per cent of trade will be diverted from existing traders to this new supermarket.
"We could easily end up in a situation where the last man standing will be asked to put the lights out."
But developer Simon Dixon said the committee's vote to approve the scheme was a "positive step".
He said: "I think we have heard from a vociferous minority during the planning process.
"Our own surveys suggest the overwhelming majority of people in Cottingham are behind this and want to see this site being redeveloped.
"As well as the 250 jobs being created by the supermarket, we will also be employing contractors to build it which is another boost to the local economy."
He confirmed his company was in talks with Morrisons over the operation of the store.
"Those negotiations were dependent on us securing planning permission.
"Hopefully, we can now move forward on that basis to reach an agreement with Morrisons."
Committee chairman Councillor Phyllis Pollard said: "In our current economic climate with a finely -balanced issue like this, I look for applications that support economic growth."