Letter: Council deals a blow to town’s shopping options

A further blow to the viability of shopping in this part of Pocklington.
A further blow to the viability of shopping in this part of Pocklington.

The vitality of a town centre depends on its shops attracting customers.

The George Street area of Pocklington lost many shoppers when the Boots branch there closed according to reports from other nearby traders.

Now a decision by the Western Area Subcommittee of the ERYC Planning Committee has dealt a further blow to the viability of shopping in this part of Pocklington by deciding that the Co-op site, including its large parking area, is to be re-developed as a 3 storey residence for over 55s.

This decision was taken in contravention of the policies in the East Riding Local Plan which only came into effect as recently as April last year, that designated it as part of the town’s Primary Shopping Area.

Because ERYC’s planners supported this change of use I have to conclude that the Local Plan seems to protect Pocklington about as much as garden gnomes could protect one’s home.

On top of this, the decision cannot but open the door to further change-of-use challenges from other developers across the whole of the East Riding.

The fact that the Western Area sub-committee not only went along with this policy violation but also chose to disregard a petition to keep the Co-op site as retail space that had been signed by 940 local people is deeply concerning and must bring its capability into question.

AJ Duke

Canal Lane, Pocklington