Don't turn away 300 jobs says Scunthorpe Moving Forward group supporting retail park with Marks & Spencer
A CAMPAIGN group has emphasised the importance of a planned retail park that would bring Marks & Spencer back to Scunthorpe.
Simons Developments was awarded planning permission by North Lincolnshire Council earlier this year for the scheme on Doncaster Road.
It is set to bring M&S back to the town, as well as Debenhams and other retailers.
The scheme, earmarked for the site of the Stephen Smith Garden Centre, is currently subject to a judicial review, brought by objectors.
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But members of the Scunthorpe Moving Forward group say the development, which would bring 300 jobs and £20 million of investment, is vital for the town's economy.
The group is made up of residents who are supportive of the Simons proposal.
Group member Judy Bradley, of Messingham, said: "We want to help the town. We are from the area and we want the best for the town.
"Knocking back a development like this is not going to help the town in any way, shape or form. People are going out of town to get good shopping and are doing the rest of their shopping while they are there.
"If we get this, which will be five minutes from the town centre, people will not have to go out of Scunthorpe."
Joy Litherland, of Bottesford, said: "If we get the big shops, we will shop at the smaller stores in the town as well. We are talking about 300 jobs, so how can we turn that away?"
The location of the development, along with traffic and environmental issues, were among the reasons for objections to it.
Liz Tyers, of Scunthorpe, who is also a member of Scunthorpe Moving Forward, said: "If you have got an ounce of common sense, you wouldn't believe we are having to battle to get something that is going to rejuvenate a town that has lost employment."
The judicial review comes after a legal challenge to the decision to grant planning permission for the retail park.
It was brought by Threadneedle Investments, which owns The Foundry, on behalf of Zurich Assurance Limited. It will be heard at a court in Leeds from December 18.
Among the objectors is the Keep Scunthorpe Alive protest group, whose chairman, Des Comerford, said: "While I am unable to comment on the legalities, I respect people who say they want M&S to come into Scunthorpe. This is not just about M&S – it is three other massive units."