Call to post your pledge against appeal

SOS campaigners will be stepping up their campaign
SOS campaigners will be stepping up their campaign

Campaigners are pledging not to let their guard drop over the future of a key Hebden Bridge site.

And in turn, they are hoping townspeople will pledge their support opposing any plans by supermarket giant Sainsburys to build on the former Hebden Bridge Fire Station site.

Last September, Calderdale Council planning committee voted to reject a supermarket proposal objectors had previously dubbed “disastrous”.

The application had proposed that a £1.5 million Sainsbury’s Local be built on the Valley Road site but after worries for the free flow of traffic in the busy, narrow streets the plan was rejected by six of the seven councillors at the planning meeting, held at Halifax Town Hall.

Sainsburys have until March 17 to appeal against the decision - and campaigners from the SOS Hebden bridge group aim to keep up the pressure.

From this week SOS “Post boxes” are appearing in Hebden Bridge shops and cafes so townspeople can post pledges to oppose Sainsbury’s in Hebden Bridge.

Pledge cards are provided. The boxes can already be found in Pennine Provisions, Holt’s Grocers, Valley Organics, Saker’s the Bakers, and Marco’s Café, more will follow.

The group says: ”The deadline for Sainsbury’s to appeal is March 17. We already have 564 objections...can we get 1000 postcard pledges to show our disproval by the end of the month?”

In the next few weeks the group will also be organising a meeting to discuss positive ways forward for the key site, exchanging ideas as to what it might be used for - thoughts also in the mind of Hebden Bridge Partnership at its Big Conversation meeting earlier this year.

A spokesperson for SOS said: “We feel we need to prepare for a Sainsburys appeal and this is the first wave of our response, to keep the issue in the public eye so that people are forewarned that they might appeal.”

The meeting to discuss ways forward for the site will be held at Hebden Bridge Town Hall’s Waterfront Hall from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on Sunday, March 1, when people can find out more or share their ideas.

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Sainsburys proposal contained two main elements including a two story, mixed-use block containing a Sainsbury’s Local on the ground floor and part of the first floor, while the second part would have consisted of a three storey block of five townhouses on Hangingroyd Lane.