Petition mooted over Marks & Spencer plans to close Harrogate Oatlands cafe


Last updated Nov 15, 2021
Marks and Spencer on Oatlands Retail Park, Harrogate.

Marks & Spencer has submitted plans to expand its Simply Food store on Leeds Road, Harrogate and close the cafe.

M&S was granted planning permission to demolish a car showroom and build the store at Oatlands Retail Park in 2012.

It now plans to expand into the adjoining unit.

The company actually had permission to occupy the site in 2012 but did not want as much space then and chose to sub-divide the unit instead.

A planning document sent to Harrogate Borough Council by commercial real estate agents Avison Young (UK) on behalf of M&S reveals the retailer now plans to expand and ‘remove’ the cafe. It says:

“The current works to reverse the unit’s sub-division reflect changes in consumer demand for food products in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and a wider business strategy by M&S to invest in and expand its food retail offer.”

A Stray Ferret reader got in touch to say the potential loss of the cafe had not gone down well with customers and some were considering a petition calling on the company to reconsider.

An M&S spokesperson said:

“Our expansion plans at M&S Harrogate Oatlands are designed to deliver a bigger, better and fresher new-look food hall for shoppers and mark a significant investment in the local area.

“Whilst these plans involve closing the in-store café, they will allow us to transform the store to deliver the very best of M&S for our customers in Harrogate, with a bigger range of M&S food products than ever before.”

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