Supermarkets seeking North Yorkshire expansion

Image caption, Tesco is awaiting a decision on plans for a store on this former gas works site in Harrogate

The UK's 'big four' supermarkets have had at least six planning applications approved in North Yorkshire since 2008, BBC research has found.

Within the past two years plans for new supermarkets in Filey and Whitby and four applications for advertising have been given the go-ahead.

A decision is pending on plans for Harrogate's first large Tesco store.

Councils in the UK approved 577 stores from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons in the two years to November.

The BBC contacted every UK planning authority to discover how many shops from the companies received permission.

The figures were obtained by researchers examining the expansion of the big four across the UK.

Planning permission for a Sainsbury's supermarket on Stainsacre Lane in Whitby was granted in October.

The company has agreed to pay £467,000 towards road, footpath and cycle route improvements in the area and provide a free bus service to and from Whitby for staff and customers.

A Tesco store in Filey is expected to open by the end of the year after it was approved by planners in October 2009.

Harrogate Borough Council is in the process of considering Tesco's planning application for a store on a former gas works in the town.

The firm withdrew plans for a supermarket at North Park in 2007, after council officers and residents expressed concerns about the impact on traffic and local businesses.

It submitted the new application in 2009, saying its revised plans were for a smaller and more eco-friendly store which would create 360 new jobs.

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