All change - or an alternative?

SAINSBURY’S has announced that it is making changes to its proposed 20,500 sq ft store off Halifax Road, Todmorden, after public consultation.

Although the exact details of the amendments are not yet known, because they are still being ironed out by the supermarket, Sainsbury’s has begun to discuss them with local stakeholders and will make an announcement to the local community shortly.

Kevin Macmillan, Sainsbury’s Development Surveyor, said: “We’ve had almost 800 responses so far and half of those respondents told us that they would like Sainsbury’s to come to Todmorden.

“We’ve also had some useful feedback relating to the design of the store from the local community and Todmorden council, and as a result, we are drawing up some significant changes to the design and layout of the proposed store.

“We are inviting ward councillors and local groups to meet with us and talk through our revised and improved plans and we will share our proposals with the local community in the coming weeks.”

The news came prior to a public meeting organised by Save Our Retail Trade In Todmorden (SORTIT) to talk about possible alternatives for the proposed Sainsbury’s site.

The meeting took place at a packed Todmorden Town Hall and amongst the ideas discussed were to build a marina or a small hotel.

Andrew Hartley, who chaired the meeting, said: “The decisions that we affect now could have a major impact on the future of this town. The saturation of our small town with supermarkets will not only have an affect on the market but on the other businesses in the town too.

“The market is hugely important to this town, but it’s not the only thing in it. There’s lots of other businesses and we are looking to work with them.

“The possibilities for the town are vast, but another supermarket coming in would kill this industry.

“There are very little things to do in Todmorden apart from go to the park, but that site could be turned into a marina or a small hotel, which the town actually needs. The possibilities are endless.

“As a group we can create future viability for the town itself and the money that’s created will go back into the town rather than a big conglomerate.”

Sainsbury’s has previously said that the new store would create around 150 new full and part-time jobs for the town, but SORTIT said at the meeting that this would merely replace the jobs that would be lost at the market. The group also said it would take footfall away from the town centre.

l WHAT would you want to see built on the site if the supermarket doesn’t get planning permission from Calderdale Council? Email your comments to todnews@todmordennews.co.uk