Budget supermarket Aldi could soon open in the heart of Todmorden after plans for the store were approved.
The proposals for the store, at the derelict site of the Abraham Ormerod medical centre and former Olympia cinema on Burnley Road, went before Calderdale Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.
The application had been deferred in June over highways concerns.
The committee heard from Oliver Howarth, business director for First West Yorkshire, who said he was concerned about the safety of the design proposals.
He said: “My objection to this scheme is to try and stop people from being run over.” Mr Howarth said the design would encourage bus passengers to cross straight across the road into the store. At a previous meeting he had called for a junction with signals, but a report to the committee outlined the highways authority was concerned that such a layout would result in fewer parking spaces for the store.
Another objector, Margaret Mytton, said the site would be the perfect location to fulfil the housing needs of the town. Other concerns were previously raised about traffic calming measures, including a speed table, outside the store.
Councillor Jill Smith-Moorhouse (Con, Luddenden Foot) said she had no objections to the supermarket, but had “grave concerns” as to the highway plan.
She said “It just seems very complicated to me and confusing to what’s there at the moment. Why can’t we just drive in, pull into the supermarket and drive out.”
But Cheryl Barratt, highways advisor for Aldi, said that since the deferral, the speed table had been moved to improve transition for buses and measures need to be put in place to maintain the 20mph limit on that stretch of road.
Chair of the planning committee, councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme) said he believed the scheme would improve pedestrian safety on the proposed site.
Philip Isherwood, speaking on behalf of Aldi, said that the utmost care would be taken to ensure noise from the store wouldn’t be an issue for residents and the company was spending money on an effective drainage system for the site.
He added the store would create 35-50 jobs and would help to retain shoppers within Todmorden.