Asda calls for delay on shopping decision

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COUNCILLORS are being urged to delay a decision on a new supermarket for Elland.

Asda and Morrisons both have plans before tomorrow night’s planning committee meeting and council officers are recommending both are rejected.

But, Asda, which hopes to build between Dewsbury Road and Huddersfield Road, wants any decision delayed four weeks.

It has held last-minute talks with officers and believes it can find a solution to traffic concerns.

Asda spokesman Philip Bartram said the wealth of local interest was another reason why extra time should be given to what is a crucial decision.

“It is absolutely vital that a correct decision rather than merely a quick decision is made. This decision can pave the way for a very significant, long-term boost to Elland’s economy and common sense must prevail, with both schemes being considered alongside each other and all possible details in place and fully understood.”

Morrisons – backed by the Elland Supermarket Support Group set up by local shoppers – wants to build on the Nu-Swift site at Wistons Lane and relocate the firm and 70 jobs nearby.

In recent weeks more than 200 people have signed a Facebook page supporting Asda and Mr Bartram said officers had recognised its site was closer to the town centre and zoned for retail.

But, two previous applications by Asda have been refused.

“We have been looking to open a new store in Elland for over a decade, with this being our third planning application, and we remain as committed as ever to that aim,” said Mr Bartram.

“Each step of the way we have encountered tremendous support for our proposal.”

Shoppers want one – or both – of the big-name supermarkets in Elland to drive down prices and Morrisons also intends providing a petrol filling station.

Hundreds of jobs for local people would also be created as Morrisons would need up to 300 staff and Asda, 200.

A new store would also reduce the number of residents travelling into neighbouring towns for their main weekly shop.

The meeting starts at 6.30 pm at the Shay stadium. It has been switched from Halifax Town Hall due to an expected large turnout.