Store wars: Campaigners ready as Sainsbury’s appeal planning decision

A supermarket giant is appealing a decision made by Calderdale Council to reject a Sainsbury’s shop in Hebden Bridge.

The application, submitted by Eshton Gregory Ltd, had proposed that a £1.5 million Sainsbury’s Local be built on the former Hebden Bridge Fire Station site on Valley Road but after worries for the free flow of traffic in the busy, narrow streets the plan was rejected by six of the seven councillors present at a council meeting last year. The proposal contains two elements including a two-story block which would contain the supermarket on the ground floor and part of the first floor.

We are disappointed that, at the very last minute, Sainsbury’s have put in an appeal. It seems our work is not over. We are going to do everything possible to prevent the appeal going through

Hebden Bridge SOS campaign

The second part of the proposal consisted of a three-storey block of five townhouses on Hangingroyd Lane.

Members of the the Save our Shops Hebden Bridge campaign group, councillors and the public have expressed concern about the appeal.

A spokesperson from SOS Hebden Bridge says “We are disappointed that, at the very last minute, Sainsbury’s have put in an appeal.

It seems our work is not over. We are going to do everything possible to prevent the appeal going through.

“We are appealing to everyone who hasn’t yet signed a pledge card to do so. There are post box collection points in shops and cafes in the town.

“We would like to raise the number of signed pledges to over 1000.”

Councillor Janet Battye (Calder, Lib Dem) said: “It’s absolutely right that Calderdale Council refused this application for the reason that there must not be more vans and lorries going through the town centre and down Valley Road.

“If Sainsbury’s win this appeal and are allowed to build their supermarket, it will change the nature of this area back into a road with the danger that there’ll be a stream of vans and lorries delivering to the supermarket.

“But, above all, Hebden Bridge does not need more supermarkets - we already have three small ones in the town centre.

“Hebden Bridge is well-known for being a place of small, local shops and it’s important to keep the character of the town. We’ve got independent butchers, bakers, greengrocers, newsagents, wine and cheese shops - we simply don’t need another supermarket.”

Mayor of Hebden Royd Jonathan Timbers said: “I expected Sainsbury’s to lodge an appeal so it doesn’t surprise me. The planning application was lost on solid planning grounds and it will be lost again on the appeal.

“The community does not want a Sainsbury’s in the town and I don’t understand why an organisation which tries to sell itself as one that is socially responsible wants to put a shop where it will actually do damage to the economy of Hebden Bridge.

“It will cause traffic chaos in an already congested part of Hebden Bridge.”

Graham Connell, of Colliers International - the planning agent for the application - said: “An appeal has been lodged. The next steps are with the Planning Inspectorate.”

A spokesperson from Sainsbury’s said: “An appeal has been submitted by the developer against refusal of planning permission. We await the outcome.”

Full details of the appeal will be made available in the coming weeks.