Outrage in Stokesley over supermarket proposal

STOKESLEY residents have been protesting against a plan for a supermarket on the outskirts of the town.

Since the property developers Terrace Hill announced their plans to buy the site of the Mill Riggs farm shop on the A172 in Stokesley and build a supermarket on it, the townspeople have been in uproar.

PLANS: What the proposed supermarket could look like according to Terrace Hill

PLANS: What the proposed supermarket could look like according to Terrace Hill

The developers intend to build a 1394sqm supermarket on the site, along with a petrol station and a car park. A roundabout and extra bus stops would also be built on the road for ease of access.


The developers claim that the store will bring 140 jobs to the town, both part-time and full-time. They also say that it will mean that residents won’t have to travel to neighbouring towns to do their main shopping.


However, residents still felt that an out of town supermarket would destroy the town’s iconic high street, with people preferring the more convenient and cheaper option that a supermarket would likely offer.


A protest group called Save Our Stokesley sprung up to protect the town’s character and charm, with the aim to halt the development of the supermarket. The group, made up of local business people and residents, has become increasingly influential and popular as the development passed through the planning system.

LOCATION: An aerial shot of the area the supermarket would take up.

LOCATION: An aerial shot of the area the supermarket would take up.


One member of the chair committee, Andy Price, works at Teesside University, and has lived in Stokesley for around ten years. ‘It’s not that the town couldn’t do with a new supermarket, it’s where they want to build it that’s the issue,’ he told me.


‘Government statistics show that out of town supermarkets can single-handedly ruin towns, by drawing custom away from the independent shops and market stalls located in the town centre or high street.’


‘Where are people more likely to shop,’ he continued, ‘several different and probably more expensive independent businesses, or one big, cheap supermarket?’


They have held meetings to allow locals to have their points of view heard, and have a stall at the local farmer’s market to spread the word.


Save Our Stokesley is also very active on social media, spreading news via their Facebook page and engaging with the public. They also encouraged people to object to the Hambleton District Council planning department, via email or written letter.


Their campaign is partially responsible for the record number of objections received; over one thousand. The decision is expected to be announced on the 26th of June.


However, not every Stokesley resident is against the supermarket. In a survey conducted in the Stokesley High Street, 25% of the people asked were in favour of the supermarket.


Of the people who were for the supermarket, some said that the local Co-Op had a monopoly on the town, and offered an unsatisfactory selection, hoping that the new supermarket would be superior. Others said that the extra roundabouts would help slow traffic on the bypass and make the roads safer.


Local councillor Bryn Griffiths said, ‘Terrace Hill has a lot of economic, social and environmental questions to answer.’

SUPPORTIVE: Councillor Griffiths approves the Save Our Stokesley message.

SUPPORTIVE: Councillor Griffiths approves the Save Our Stokesley message.


‘The supermarket would definitely have some worrying effects. It could lead to significant job loss for the town, causing the quality of the high street to decrease.’


When questioned about Save Our Stokesley, he said ‘The local reaction doesn’t surprise me at all, and I fully support them, and encourage residents to make their views heard.’


However, he is also worried that even the residents’ best efforts may not be enough to deter the supermarket, ‘Even if the plans fail at a local level, the developers could now appeal and get the proposal passed, thanks to Eric Pickles’ changes to the system.’


Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, is capable of overruling local opposition and approving planning propositions regardless of objections, which the campaigners are duly worried about.


‘Whilst we firmly believe that the local council’s planning department will see how potentially dangerous this supermarket could be for the local economy and high street, you really have to wonder whether Mr Pickles will still approve it. It’s not a prospect we hope to have to face however,’ said one resident.


Terrace Hill have tried to respond to the queries and demands from the townsfolk in return.


‘There is a clear appetite in Stokesley for the inclusion of a cycleway and improved footpaths surrounding the site, and we will be pleased to work with Hambleton District Council to try and accommodate this within the proposals’ said David McEwan, head of retail and leisure at Terrace Hill.


‘In relation to the potential for the scheme to impact upon the high street and we will address this understandable concern through the retail impact assessment we submit with the planning application,’ he continued.


Residents won’t have much longer to wait and see whether or not their objections have persuaded the local planning committee, but regardless of the outcome, they’ve thrown everything they’ve got into the Save Our Stokesley campaign.


A feature film about Stokesley and the views of its residents.

I asked people in Stokesley, ‘What do you think of the proposed supermarket?’

from Tside

The bare face of £8million



What on earth is natural beauty? How much foundation, bronzer, mascara, moisturiser and anti-wrinkle serum does it take to be classed as looking beautiful, or classed as looking like a complete disaster…

Make-up seems to be the barrier that enables women to express confidence and sass, however, defining normal and defining extreme is trickier than drawing on eyebrows that match.

Following the recent social media storm of the #nomakeupselfie, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour had  presenter Jane Garvey speak with feminist Liz Jones who writes for the Daily Mail, and writer

and editor of the Feminist Times Charlotte Raven, about whether there is still too much inane focus on how we look.

Charlotte gave the impression that nowadays, ‘normal’ means more than being fresh faced and au natural.

She said: “The bar for what is seen as normal has now been raised, so, looking very well maintained, looking well groomed, looking very well turned out; now normal.”

The #nomakeupselfie that rapidly trended and became a successful campaign for Cancer Research UK proved that natural beauty beneath make-up shouldn’t be hidden; posting a bare-faced picture online is a huge deal for some who don’t feel comfortable natural.But is it what you look like that is most important? Is it the case of the more eyelash volume and the thicker the powder, the better you look?

The impact of celebrities contributing to the ‘no make-up selfie’ has affected and raised discussion mainly with the image of self-conscious women.

Liz Jones recently wrote in a Daily Mail article that celebrities who have put bare-faced snaps of themselves online, such as Holly Willoughby, Julia Roberts and Demi Moore, are not as ‘bare-faced’ as they seem.

Despite this campaign, which was started by the public, not Cancer Research UK, raising over £8 million in just six days, Liz said: “Their lashes have probably been dyed and enhanced with extensions, brows tinted, skin tanned. That luscious, artfully tousled hair has been dyed a fetching shade, kept in perfect condition — and often supplemented with extensions.”

During Woman’s Hour, Liz Jones said make-up is her life, and she doesn’t even let her husband see her without make-up on.

She said: “I published a picture in the daily mail of what I looked like in the morning and I looked like a blowfish – puffy, and pink cheeks, and no eyes, no lips, and I think women who are now saying we don’t need all this artifice, it’s quite arrogant really, because most of us need it.”

In response to this bitter angle I wanted to find out more, by asking three very different female students their response to make-up and how altering their daily regime would impact them and their confidence.

20-year-old Hannah Dodsworth loves make-up, and spends the majority of her morning perfecting the flicks of her eyeliner and completing her unique look with one of her hundreds of colours of lippy.

She said: “I moisturise then put foundation on, then quite a lot of eye make-up, depending on how much time I have and what I’m doing that day.

“I like having flicks on my eyes and when I don’t have them it doesn’t feel like I’ve quite finished my face.”

Hannah agreed she would go without make-up for a day, though she’d prefer to wear it especially when going out.

She said: “It’s good to give your skin a break, but it always comes down to who you’ll see or bump into!

“I didn’t feel confident posting my #nomakeupselfie, but I don’t care as it was for a great cause.”

18-year-old Rebecca Cannings wears make-up all the time, unless she’s at home.

She said: “I have no idea why I wear it, I just do.”

Rebecca revealed she probably wouldn’t go out of a night if she wasn’t fully made up: “It’s all part of going out, putting your make-up on and looking nice.”

18-year-old Ashleigh Mann lives with a house full of boys, so has never been bothered about wearing make-up.

She said: “I only wear it when I go on a night out.

“I don’t wear it if I’m going into University or popping to the shops during the day, but you wouldn’t see me on a night out without it!”

These three normal women, not celebrities, just your average students, agreed that no matter how comfortable or how self-conscious you may be, there is no taking away from the fact that the #nomakeupselfie trend was a huge step for a lot of women, and breaking the habit of a lifetime for a charitable cause was a success.

Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie.

“It is phenomenal to think the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn’t have the money for six days ago.”


This is a film that illustrates why these three female students wear make-up, and how make-up plays a massive part in the life of older generations.


A Vox Pop around Teesside University campus, on what guys think about women and the ‘Au Natural’ look…

from Tside