Marina put forward as alternative to store plan

An artist's impression of architect Ivor Dibble's proposed marina scheme for the gateway site on Halifax Road, Todmorden
An artist's impression of architect Ivor Dibble's proposed marina scheme for the gateway site on Halifax Road, Todmorden

AN ARCHITECT has produced a marina scheme featuring a hotel and leisure facilities as an alternative to the proposed Sainsbury’s supermarket on Halifax Road, Todmorden.

The alternative scheme including a 52-berth marina, dry dock, a three star hotel and a bar/restaurant would promote the Rochdale Canal and give the gateway site more of a leisure-based emphasis.

Ivor Dibble has produced the scheme on a voluntary basis working in conjunction with Todmorden Pride to investigate the potential for the site.

“It’s not a finite scheme,” he said. “It’s more a concept of what could be done on the site.”

Mr Dibble said the core strategy consultative document issued by Calderdale Council in January 2011 refers to a “mixed-use waterside development” for the area.

“What they call the gateway site on Halifax Road does lend itself to canalside development,” he said.

“I think Todmorden does call for very careful treatment of the sites in and around it to try to concentrate the retail heart around the market and town hall and utilise these other sites for other uses.

“It’s only a small town. Trying to stretch the town centre out to Halifax Road I think would be wrong.

“I think there’s a feeling that Todmorden, particularly with the Netto development, is pretty well served for supermarkets.

“Everybody I talk to seems to be far more in favour of a leisure development on the Halifax Road site.”

He said the marina scheme could attract tourists and also link in with Incredible Edible Todmorden’s Green Trail.

James Gregory, chairman of Todmorden Pride, feels the scheme will capture people’s imagination.

“If the supermarket is refused, there are other active proposals at a realistic commercial price, one of which we like is a marina,” he said.

“We are conscious that this is a critical site as, given Todmorden’s layout, there’s very little flat land. We are anxious for a development that moves the town forward, gives it a visual appeal and some character.

“We believe that a marina, hotel and offices would be infinitely better for Todmorden than a fourth supermarket.

“Todmorden Pride is focused on opening up the canal. We believe that Sainsbury’s would do nothing for that.”

He said that the scheme would be commercially viable without any public funding.