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Building a second store would decimate Silsden, says mayor
3:18pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
Silsden’s mayor has heavily criticised a planned second supermarket for the town.
Two weeks ago Tesco announced plans to build a medium-size 20,000 sq ft store in Keighley Road next to Silsden AFC, close to the proposed site of a new Aldi.
Consultation was held last week in Silsden before an application is submitted later in the year to Bradford Council.
Meanwhile, Aldi’s scheme, made in conjunction with Silsden conveyor and transmissions manufacturer Habasit, would involve a store about three-quarters the size of the planned Tesco on land next to Habasit’s Keighley Road premises.
Habasit hopes to use the money from the sale of the land to modernise its factory and allow it to remain competitive.
An application has been submitted to Bradford Council and is due to be decided by its Regulatory and Appeals Committee, at a date to be fixed, a council spokesman said this week.
Mayor Coun Chris Atkinson said last week’s consultation for the Tesco store had little detail and appeared to involve a direct contrast between Tesco and Aldi and what they could offer.
“I think they were just fishing. They were very detrimental about Aldi.
“But the feeling I got from people there was that Tesco would decimate the town,” he said.
Coun Atkinson said he had asked for a letter to be written to Bradford Council from Silsden Town Council, urging planners to get on with the Aldi application and deal with it as soon as possible.
“An Aldi store would complement what we’ve already got in Silsden and it would safeguard the 80 jobs we already have at Habasit,” he said.
“I’ve asked the clerk to write to Bradford, asking them to deal with the Aldi application as soon as possible. It seems just because someone has said Tesco, everyone has panicked.”
Ward councillor Adrian Naylor agreed that the consultation – held by planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners – had thrown up few additional details other than the distributed leaflet.
“When I asked about the entry and exit to the site, I was told that a traffic survey had not been done yet and that it would form part of the application itself,” he said.
“There were no detailed plans whatsoever and the indication I got was that it would be several months before an application was submitted.”
A spokesman for Bradford Council said the Aldi application, being a major one, would be considered by the Regulatory and Appeals Committee but that a date had yet to be set.
Planning consultants NLP said it was not in a position to comment further at this stage.
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