Plans for a new supermarket on the outskirts of Brighouse look to be shelved after a three year battle in the courts.
Aldi were given permission to build a store on a site in Birds Royd Lane in 2013 after a lengthy battle in the appeal courts with a rival developer Younger Homes Northern Ltd.
Despite looking to have won the legal challenge it now appears the retailer has pulled out of the development after the Secretary of State did not make a closure order, and a Crown Court judge ruled that an ancient road running through the site, which would have been permanently closed by the development, must remain open.
Over the past three years, Lesley Adams, chair of the Brighouse Business Initiative has been one of those asking for a level playing field in the planning process and for the views of Brighouse residents and businesses to be heard.
She said she would welcome an Aldi store in Brighouse but believes that a supermarket on that out of town site would have had a detrimental impact on existing shops and businesses in Brighouse and believes there are more suitable sites in the town centre where Aldi should now consider developing a store.
“This has been a long-running and expensive planning saga which I have been committed to pursuing despite the challenges of being up against developers and the Council who have no problems financing their legal arguments.
“While I believe a supermarket development on this site is not in the interests of Brighouse, the principle here has been one of fair play – the Crown Court judge, Justice Durham-Hall, was extremely critical of Calderdale Council in his summing up.
“All I wanted is for the views of residents and businesses in Brighouse to be represented fairly and properly.
“Having now withdrawn from the Birds Royd Lane development, I hope Aldi will consider continuing to invest in Brighouse – but this time in the town centre where we have several suitable sites where they could make a valuable contribution to Brighouse rather than have a detrimental impact on the economy of many of our shops and businesses.”
The plans would have seen the buildings at Calderbank House, 9a Birds Royd Lane, Princess Works and Royd House demolished.
The supermarket was granted planning permission last year following a meeting of the Calderdale Council planning committee on May 28, 2013.