Fourth supermarket for Todmorden?

Artist's impression of the revised plans for the proposed Sainsbury's store off Halifax Road, Todmorden
Artist's impression of the revised plans for the proposed Sainsbury's store off Halifax Road, Todmorden

A TOWN which is flush with supermarkets could soon get another.

Councillors refused to allow Sainsbury’s to build a new store at the gateway to Todmorden because it already has two supermarkets and Asda is about to begin building a third.

But the scheme had the backing of planning officials who said it complied with current planning policies and as a result, Sainsbury’s has decided to appeal.

The decision to press ahead with redeveloping the Halifax Road site could eventually lead to a public inquiry.

Kevin Macmillan, development manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “I can confirm that Sainsbury’s has decided to appeal against Calderdale Council Planning Committee’s decision to overturn its officer’s recommendation and refuse planning permission for a new store in Todmorden.

“The new store would create up to 150 new full and part time jobs for the local community and provide more choice, keeping shoppers in the town.

“Since councillors refused our application, many people have contacted us to express their disappointment in the decision and to urge Sainsbury’s to appeal,” he said.

The proposals have led to a huge number of people signing a petition protesting against the plans with around a quarter of the town’s population putting their names to it.

Asda is pressing ahead with plans to create a store in Burnley Road, opposite Todmorden Market.

Morrison’s and Lidl also have stores in the town.

If the Sainsbury’s plans get the go-ahead there are fears that the town will be saturated with supermarkets.

Councillor Ian Cooper, (Con, Todmorden), who felt so strongly about the plans he resigned his position on Calderdale Council’s planning committee to fight the application, said: “Sainsbury’s left it almost to the very last minute to appeal and they have asked for a public inquiry to be held at a date yet to be fixed.

“I am pleased about it because it gives us far more opportunity to present our case across a broad spectrum of opinion.

“Whatever is decided will determine the future of Todmorden for ever. It is a case of whether a small town like Todmorden can accommodate a fourth supermarket.”