A proposed supermarket development that residents have deemed ‘horrendous’ has been recommended for approval at next week’s planning committee meeting.
The £1.5m planning proposal, submitted to Calderdale Council by Eshton Gregory (Hebden Bridge) Limited and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited, has proposed that a Sainsbury’s super store be built on the former Hebden Bridge Fire Station site on Valley Road in the town.
Members of the ‘Save Our Shops - Say No to Sainsbury’s’ campaign have been rallying support since last year in a campaign to stop the proposed supermarket being constructed because of concerns over the effect on local shops, the increased traffic - a 11.2m long lorry delivering to the supermarket seven times a day - and additional supermarket floor space.
Hilary Chadwick, committee member of the SOS campaign, has said that the introduction of the supermarket giant would be detrimental to local businesses.
“The local shops in Hebden Bridge only survive because local people shop there and they cannot compete with a such a well-known brand that has so much advertising,” she said.
Councillor Janet Battye Calder, Lib Dem), who opposes the development said: “I’m disappointed that the planners seem to be paying little regard seems to be paid to the potential impact of Sainsbury’s store on this site in the middle of Hebden Bridge on similar shops and there seems to be no mention of the other planning permission for a supermarket just outside the town on Brown’s site.
“My main concerns continue to be the fact that once this development is built, a good opportunity will have been missed for doing something much more imaginative with the market car park next door, and traffic and parking problems. Two deliveries a day by lorry and more by vans will choke the surrounding streets, let alone remove valuable car parking spaces.”
Pipa Frederiksen, core group member of Save our Shops, said: “It would just be horrendous for Hebden Bridge.
“There are so many amazing independent shops and direct competition with a supermarket would be massive competition that they will struggle with. We think it will ruin the feel of Hebden.”
The application had 564 letters of objection, four letters of support and three letters of general representation.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson, said: “We feel our proposals for a Local in Hebden Bridge meet planning requirements and addresses many of the concerns that people have raised. In addition, the planning officers from Calderdale Council consider the proposals comply with planning policy and have recommended the application for approval. The store would be an investment in the area, creating 20 to 25 full and part-time jobs for local people, and building on the existing shopping offer which keeps people shopping locally.”
The planning committee meeting will take place on September 16 at Halifax Town Hall and is expected to be considered around 7pm.