A major new shopping centre on the outskirts of Richmond has been given the green light by district councillors.
The decision to approve the designer outlet centre at Scotch Corner means the plans can now go to the Secretary of State for consultation under the Town and Country Planning rules for major out of town developments.
He will decide whether the application can be approved or whether a Public Inquiry will be needed to debate the impact of the scheme in more detail.
The plans provide for a mixed retail and restaurant/café use on the 33.5 acre site – designer fashion, cosmetics and homeware retailers would take the 84 shopping units in a scheme which intends to fill a gap in the market in the North of England and provide more than 700 new jobs for the region.
Members of the district council’s planning committee heard that whilst some concern had been raised from local councils and some businesses in nearby towns there was widespread support for the scheme from both the business community and the public.
Corporate director Callum McKeon said: “We believe that this development will compliment the variety of shops found in Darlington, Northallerton and Teesside because it is something new for Richmondshire and none of the designer outlets proposed for the Scotch Corner development are currently found in those locations.
Committee chairman Coun Jane Parlour said: “We listened to the arguments both for and against the development and came to the conclusion that the scheme will not have a significant detrimental impact on neighbouring town centres, but will instead be of huge benefit to the wider local economy.
“It will not only plug a gap in the market, it will provide a massive number of jobs for local people. It will also bring in visitors to our district – which yet again will have a positive knock on effect on the Richmondshire economy.”
Council leader John Blackie said: “The Designer Village will re-instate Scotch Corner as the iconic location of old known travellers throughout the nation.
” It is estimated that nearly one million or the village’s annual visitors will have arrived from well beyond Richmondshire – on a day out or simply passing by.
“Many, many of them will then wander around the nearby market towns or tour our lovely Dales countryside – even staying overnight. This is a mega project that has it all.”