Town council says ‘no’ to supermarket

Members of SOS: No More Supermarkets in Hebden Bridge protesting outside Hebden Bridge Town Hall about the proposed new Sainsbury's local on Valley Road, Hebden Bridge
Members of SOS: No More Supermarkets in Hebden Bridge protesting outside Hebden Bridge Town Hall about the proposed new Sainsbury's local on Valley Road, Hebden Bridge

Hebden Royd Town Council has voted against plans for a £1.5 million a supermarket, town houses and apartments to be built on the former Hebden Bridge fire station site.

In what will be a recommendation for Calderdale Council on Eshton Gregory (Hebden Bridge) Limited and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited’s application, councillors voted by a majority of 11 to one for refusal.

Amongst the reasons for objecting were: lack of a retail impact survey; insufficient infrastructure to support the proposal; an outdated flood risk assessment; loss of parking; over-intensification of the site which is located in the conservation area; it’s out of character with the nature and identity of the town; and the proposed building would overlook other properties.

Speaking at a packed meeting of the full council in Hebden Bridge Council Chambers, Coun Dave Young said: “This is a planning application that needs to be judged on its merits. From my point of view, there’s going to be 35 deliveries a week and I don’t think we have the infrastructure to support that.”

But speaking in favour of the application, Coun Christine Davenport said it would be a boost for the low-income families in the area.

“I’m all for protecting independent shops - they’re lovely. But I can’t afford to shop there and I know a lot of people who can’t. If Sainsbury’s is built are you saying that you will stop supporting independent traders?” she asked protesters, “Because that what it sounds like to me.”

Also objecting at the meeting were ‘SOS - No More Supermarkets in Hebden Bridge”, who held a protest beforehand outside Hebden Bridge Town Hall. “Any new supermarket coming to town will have a detrimental effect on those businesses that give Hebden its charm,” said spokesperson Dave Brooks.

It was also revealed at the meeting that Sainsbury’s is still to respond to a letter sent by the town council calling for a full public consultation.

Representations must be with Calderdale Council by Friday, February 21.