Sainsbury’s alternative? Come and talk

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The first of two public meetings to discuss Hebden Bridge’s building needs will feature architect students from Huddersfield University.

Students will be hosting the event; ‘Hebden Bridge Vision: The Big Conversation’ Saturday January 31 at the Waterfront Hall from 1pm to 3pm and are inviting residents to join in the debate.

The workshop will be the first of many such student visits to the town over the next few months where they will help residents to think about the town’s building needs.

This will be followed by the winter public meeting of the Hebden Bridge Partnership on Monday February 2 at the Terrace Room of the Town Hall.

Mayor of Hebden Royd, Councillor Jonathon Timbers, will host the event and outline how Hebden Royd Town Council and the hilltop parishes plan to develop the local area over the next few months.

They will also discuss alternatives to the halted Sainsbury’s development on Valley Road.

Members of the ‘Save Our Shops’ campaign, which successfully lobbied against the supermarket giant will also be present at the meeting to air their views on new development plans.

Sainsbury’s have until March to appeal against the refusal of planning permission issued by the council in February of last year.

Should the supermarket appeal, the decision of the council could be positively influenced if the town has aligned itself with a commercially viable alternative to the site.

Bob Deacon, chair of the Hebden Bridge Partnership, said: “The opportunity exists to redevelop the Valley Road site in a much more creative way.

“If Calderdale Council, who own the car park, Eshton Gregory who own the Fire Station site and BT who own the under-used BT telephone exchange site and the newly formed Community Land Trust put their heads and resources together it is possible to imagine a holistic development including open space, affordable housing, car parking and buildings for public use,” added Mr Deacon.

“We have been in touch with the site owners and Calderdale Council to begin these discussions”.