Todmorden Town Council is backing budget supermarket giant Aldi’s bid to take over the Asda-owned land at two town centre “eyesore” sites - but with reservations.
Development committee members recommended that the plans to develop a supermarket on the former Abraham Ormerod Centre and Olympia Cinema sites at Burnley Road, Todmorden, be approved when they come before Calderdale Council’s planning committee, which will make the final decision.
But their support is subject to several provisos.
The Todmorden councillors want Aldi to sort out a satisfactory access and egress agreement with Calderdale Council and as well as discussing its plans with neighbours want a screening solution agreement made with residents of Ridge Bank, which overlooks the site.
They would also prefer what they class as “suitable” materials to be used, noise minimisation measures to be included in approval of the application and want Calderdale to explore options in terms of asking Aldi to enter into a 106 Agreement.
Such agreements usually aim for a sum of money to be given to benefit the local community and in this case the Todmorden councillors hope a contribution to refurbish nearby Todmorden Market Hall internally could be achieved.
Last night Todmorden Council’s development committee were expected to mandate committee chairman Coun Michael Hatfield, or another committee member if he is unavailable, to make representations to Calderdale when its councillors consider the plan.
Aldi hope to demolish the existing buildings to create a new retail discount food store with associated parking of 84 spaces, pedestrian access routes and servicing, and structured low maintenance landscaping.
Aldi estimates up to 40 jobs would be created in-store with additional employment for construction, maintenance, window cleaning and the like.
Several residents have also submitted comments to Calderdale, which hopes to determine the application by the end of March.
They are a mix of support and objections, with concerns particularly relating to noise, removal of vegetation, the effect a busy junction could have on traffic, and about the materials and design proposed.
Supporting comments feel the application would imporove a site generally considered an “eysore” at the moment and would also stimulate footfall to town centre shops.
A supporting statement for Aldi from The Harris Partnership Ltd to Calderdale Council planners claims that as a foodstore with predominantly own labelled brands Aldi would not compete directly with existing businesses in the town centre as it did not have an in-store baker, butcher, fishmonger or cafe and did not sell cigarettes, customers linking trips to the Aldi with other local shops.
“An Aldi store is a modest scale supermarket that provides a limited product range...the layout of an Aldi store is eminently practical, its design reflects the company philosophy of offering unrivalled value for money through cost-effective management,” says the statement.
With that in mind, the overall design of the proposal has been developed in a contemporary modern style, it said.
Fellow discount supermarket Lidl is already planning to build a new store on land off Halifax Road at the other side of the town centre.