Sainsbury's supermarket tipped for Grovehill estate retail park in Beverley
A DEVELOPER has been chosen to spearhead a major new retail park in Beverley.
Lancashire-based Maple Grove Developments has been selected as the preferred bidder to acquire the council-owned 15-acre site on the town's Grovehill estate.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has been tipped to occupy the main anchor retail store at the site.
The move to confirm Maple Grove as the preferred bidder developer was made at yesterday's East Riding Council cabinet meeting.
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It came after the council weighed- up 11 separate development proposals from different firms.
After marketing the site earlier this year, the council deferred a decision on the sale until a detailed assessment was carried out on the likely impact of the various development proposals on businesses in the town centre.
It followed concerns from existing town centre traders over yet another retail-led development being encouraged on the edge of Beverley.
Alan Menzies, the council's director of planning and regeneration, said: "The council sought independent advice from planning consultants England and Lyle, who advised us that there is no risk that a major retail development of the scale and type proposed in the Grovehill scheme would harm the vitality and viability of Beverley town centre."
Maple Grove is the development division of the Lancashire-based Eric Wright Group.
The division was formed in 1981 and has offices in Preston and Windermere.
Retail-led developments completed by Maple Grove include schemes in Chorley, Kendal and Ripon.
The company is also currently working on a major scheme in Blackburn town centre.
Chris Evenson, managing director of Maple Grove Developments, said: "We are delighted to have been selected to progress the development of this important site.
"We now look forward to working with the council and other stakeholders to deliver this."
Detailed talks are now expected to open between council officials and the company over its proposed scheme for the site.
It is expected a planning application for the development will be submitted next spring.
Details of proposed financial package behind the winning bid have not been made public.
Sainsbury's had been identified as a potential anchor store by one of the rival developers bidding to buy the site.
The supermarket chain even confirmed its interest in a statement to the Mail.
At the moment, it is not known whether Maple Grove has also been talking to Sainsbury's as a potential anchor.
But the council confirmed the majority of proposals submitted during the process had been retail-led mixed-use schemes including a large supermarket.
In August, plans for a £120m retail and leisure development in Flemingate in Beverley were given the effectively given go-ahead after the Government decided against calling in the application for a review.
Covering a 16-acre site, the Flemingate scheme will feature a cinema, a hotel and a range of shops including a new Debenhams store as well as providing a new £14m campus for East Riding College.
The consortium behind the Flemingate scheme is being led by Hull developer Wykeland Group.
Detailed drawings are currently being prepared to enable the tender process for the construction to begin on the site of a former chemical factory and transport museum with a view to work starting in mid 2013. The build programme will take about 18 months to complete and it is hoped the whole site will open in autumn 2014.