Huge objections against store

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AROUND one-third of a town’s population is expected to sign a petition against a supermarket development, according to an objector.

Jean Hartley, of SORTED – Save Our Retail Trade in Todmorden – said there was growing opposition to Sainsbury’s plans to build on Halifax Road.

Calderdale Council is expected to discuss the application next month and thousands have already signed a petition.

Mrs Hartley expected 5,000 to have signed before the planning meeting – from a town with a 15,000 population.

She runs a cheese stall in the town’s indoor market and feared the supermarket would suck trade from the town centre.

Morrisons are aleady on Rochdale Road; Lidl on Halifax Road; One-Stop Tesco on Bramsche Square and Netto has permission to build on Burnley Road.

“Enough is enough. We have our quota of supermarkets,” said Mrs Hartley, aged 68.

“I care for my home town and that site could be used to attract visitors.”

She also said a Sainsbury’s store would encourage shoppers away from Hebden Bridge.

Ward Coun Ian Cooper (Con, Todmorden) backed objectors and said the site was inappropriate.

He added it would damage trade at the indoor and outdoor markets.

“It would, without doubt, take footfall away from the town centre,” he said.

“The council has its own plans for development in the centre.

“The retail strategy we are trying to bring will not only capture local spending but keep that spending in Todmorden.”

Councillor Cooper said the intention was to try and attract high quality retail and new business units and less footfall in the town centre would deter potential developers.

He said the Halifax Road site provided an opportunity to boost the town’s tourism with a hotel, marina and create sustainable jobs.

He feared jobs created with the supermarket development would be lost elsewhere.

Todmorden Town Council has already opposed development.

Sainsbury’s says it has support for its plans after consulting with residents and it disagreed with claims made by opponents.

It said many shoppers travel to neighbouring towns and its proposed store would retain more shopping in Todmorden and create 150 full and part time jobs for residents.

* Plans for an Asda and Morrisons in Elland could be before Calderdale Council’s planning committee within weeks.

l Are they too many supermarkets in Calderdale? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk