Sainsbury’s decision to scrap its plans to build a new store in Todmorden has fueled speculation that it might move to Hebden Bridge instead.
It could also mean an Asda store being built in Halifax Road, Todmorden, rather than opposite the town’s bus station.
The supermarket chains have so far declined to comment but the switch could benefit shoppers in both towns.
Sainsbury’s had intended to build on a former factory site in Halifax Road, Todmorden, but was refused permission by Calderdale Council because the town already has two stores - Morrison’s and Aldi - and Asda has approval to build another.
Townsfolk were divided and Sainsbury’s was due to have its appeal dealt with at public inquiry in the summer.
But the company has now dropped its appeal leading to suspicions that it might be more interested in redeveloping an employment site at King Street, opposite the turning circle on the Todmorden side of Hebden Bridge.
Sue Smales, Sainsbury’s regional planning manager, said: “Sainsbury’s has an active new store and store extension development programme in the north but sadly this (Todmorden) project no longer meets the company’s requirements.”
Although Sainsbury’s has pulled out, the appeal will still go ahead in the name of the Property Alliance Group, which was a joint applicant.
Asda said it was unable to comment on the speculation - work on its store had been due to start in March.
The company intends to redevelop the former Abraham Ormerod Clinic and the former Kwik Save Supermarket, which was housed in an old cinema.
It has planning permission to either replace or retain the ornate cinema frontage.
Belmont properties laid out plans for a hotel and supermaket on the former Brown’s site at Mytholm, Hebden Bridge, in March.
They claimed the site could accommodate a 50 bedroom hotel and a store, creating 100 jobs.
Planning permission for 58 homes on the site was rejected last year because the Environment Agency was worried about the possible threat of flooding.
The land is earmarked for employment use.
Architect, Sam Deakin, said: “We believe the hotel will provide a much needed and valuable facility for the local tourism industry and the supermarket will give local people and visitors an alternative choice and bring in valuable custom to the town as a whole.”store