M&S set for Ripon return in £10m planning scheme

Exterior of an M&S Simply Food Store

Exterior of an M&S Simply Food Store

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Marks & Spencer could be heading back to Ripon, seven years after closing their original store.

Plans for the proposed new retail development, which includes three smaller units on a site off Rotary Way, will go on display on Saturday, February 27.

The developers behind the scheme, Rothstone Estates, are asking for feedback from Ripon residents on the £10m scheme before submitting their planning application.

The public exhibition will be held in the Council Chambers at Ripon Town Hall between 10am and 3pm with members of the development team answering questions.

Mark Rothery, managing director of Rothstone Estates, said: “We are really excited about these proposals which would see an M&S Foodhall open in Ripon.

"We believe that having M&S in Ripon could bring positive economic benefits to the area.

"We’re keen to hear what people think about this and I would encourage residents and shoppers to come along to the public consultation, see the proposals and speak to the development team.”

In January, 2009, Ripon's M&S announced they were starting a 90-day consultation over plans to shut the food outlet which had opened in The Arcade in March 2003.

But, just one month later, the company confirmed they would be closing on March 12 following a 'full and thorough consultation process'.

If planning approval is granted, the M&S Foodhall would sit alongside three smaller retail units off Rotary Way. The occupiers of the three other units are yet to be announced.

Up to 80 new full and part-time jobs could be created by the development in its entirety, in addition to around 50 jobs created during construction.

Rob Morray, Head of Property Planning from M&S added: “M&S has been looking for a site suitable to open a new store in Ripon for some time in order to better serve our customers.

"The Rotary Way site meets our requirements and presents us with the opportunity to return to the city in a sustainable location for us.

"We look forward to hearing what the local community thinks of the proposals.”

The proposed development would be connected into the existing footpath network and would provide 154 car parking spaces, accessed via a new road junction off Rotary Way.