A planning inspector has dismissed an appeal to build a Tesco in Barnoldswick on the grounds that a second superstore would have an adverse impact on the town centre.

The Planning Inspectorate threw out an appeal by the supermarket chain to construct a store on the L&P Springs site, off Wellhouse Road.

At a hearing in early October planning inspector Philip Asquith considered the impact of the Tesco proposal, in combination with the approved foodstore at Albert Hartley’s Crownest Mill site, on the vitality and viability of Barnoldswick town centre.

In his decision, Mr Asquith wrote: “I have no doubt that the presence of a large-format foodstore would be of overall benefit to Barnoldswick and there would be economic and sustainability advantages in retaining expenditure within the town and reducing the need to travel for main food shopping.

“The view has been expressed by the appellants that if permission existed for two stores the reality would be that there would be insufficient market demand capacity for both and only one would come to fruition.

“Nonetheless, any analysis on impact has to be on the basis that if permission for the appeal proposal was to be granted both would operate: there is expressed interest by the big four supermarket operators (Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Tesco) in establishing a presence in Barnoldswick.

“Allowing a second large-format scheme would represent a high risk strategy that could place the town centre in an exposed position if there was to be a substantial adverse impact on the town centre as a result of the dual operation of two large-format stores.”

Barnoldswick councillor Jennifer Purcell (Cons) agreed, saying: “Barnoldswick is not big enough to take on two large supermarkets.

“This is good news for Barnoldswick and good news for the small traders, because sooner or later we were going to have a large supermarket for Barnoldswick.”

Neil Watson, Pendle Council’s Planning and Building Control Manager, said: “We’re delighted with the planning inspector’s common sense decision.

“We approved one supermarket on the Albert Hartley site which will serve the shopping needs of the town.

“The inspector agreed with us that a second supermarket would have a harmful impact on the town centre.”

Adam Higgins, director at Capital & Centric Plc who are developing the Albert Hartley plan, said: “The Planning Inspectorate’s decision not to uphold Tesco’s appeal for non-determination of their application is just another positive step for the Albert Hartley scheme.

“We also take comfort from the decision in that it underpins the council's assessment that our scheme is the right one for Barnoldswick. We are in talks with several of the operators at the moment.”