Store inquiry to be at town hall in July

Artist's impression of the revised plans for the proposed Sainsbury's store off Halifax Road, Todmorden

Artist's impression of the revised plans for the proposed Sainsbury's store off Halifax Road, Todmorden

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A DATE has been set for the much anticipated public inquiry over Sainsbury’s plans to build a supermarket in Todmorden.

The Planning Inspectorate has announced that the inquiry, which is estimated to last for four days, will open on July 24 at Todmorden Town Hall.

At the inquiry, a planning inspector will decide whether to overturn Calderdale Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a Sainsbury’s store on the Halifax Road gateway site, Todmorden.

Coun Ian Cooper, who has spoken on behalf of the objectors throughout the planning process, said: “I am more determined than ever that Todmorden should stand its ground and oppose this timebomb.

“My objections are not based on an anti-Sainsbury’s approach.

“It’s about over-intensification of a small market town by another supermarket.”

The Sainsbury’s application has divided opinion within the town.

When the initial plans were submitted to Calderdale Council, more than 4,000 people signed a petition against the proposed store.

Market trader Jean Hartley, who presented the petition to representatives from Sainsbury’s, said: “It’s Calderdale Council now that have to fight to make sure that they win the appeal.

“It’s down to planning law now, not public opinion, which I think is wrong.”

Todmorden Town Council objected to the original application, saying that with Asda set to build a store on the Abraham Ormerod Centre site, another supermarket was not required.

Mayor of Todmorden Coun Richard White said: “We have got to hope that work starts on the old cinema site so they can show that is going ahead.

“That will give even more reason for Sainsbury’s not to be needed.”

Kevin Macmillan, development manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “The arrangements for the appeal are progressing and we will update people as soon as we can.”

Anybody who wishes to comment on the application must send their representations to the Planning Inspectorate before April 19 in order for them to be considered by the inspector at the inquiry.