THERE was a lot of cheering and celebrating outside Halifax Town Hall after the planning application by Sainsbury’s was turned down by the Halifax mafia - that is, Calderdale Council.
I’m not sure what the celebration was all bout...were they celebrating the fact that they had saved a rubbish tip or demolition site? Or were they simply telling the majority of people in Todmorden who would like a Sainsbury’s store that they. the selfish minority, wouldn’t let them have one?
Whatever the reasons, we are now left with a demolition site which, for some reason, has suddenly been nick-named “The Gateway Site”.
It is a demolition site that was once Sandbaches’ textile mill and then Dorma textile mill. Either way it’s still a tip and a dumping ground, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future unless Calderdale are planning to spend a few million pounds constructing a shopping plaza along the lines of Broad Street in Halifax, but I won’t hold my breath whilst I wait for that to happen.
Over the past 20 years Calderdale have had millions of pounds from Todmorden in Council Tax and car parking charges etc and the and the people of Todmorden receive nothing in return. In my opinion, the council don’t care one jot about Todmorden. All they seem to want is ever-increasing tax money to improve Halifax.
I think they sided with Todmorden Council because there is already a Sainsbury’s store in Halifax, so if Todmorden people want to shop at Sainsbury’s they can go to Halifax and visit other shops in the town at the same time to boost the economy there.
I know a lot of people who do a lot of shopping in Halifax, my own family included, because we simply don’t have the choice in Todmorden.
The people with banners and slogans saying “No More Supermarkets” are targetting the wrong people. The problem lies with the traders themselves. They don’t open every day and when they are it is only for a few hours. It simply isn’t possible for people working full time to shop with them, so how can they hope to compete?
They should take a leaf out of one of the local traders’, Mr Hussain’s, book. He is open seven days every week, from dawn until dusk. He doesn’t have a problem with supermarkets, because he can compete with them - maybe not always on price but certainly on convenience and choice.
We will have to put up with the eyesore longer unless Sainsbury’s appeal the decision, which I believe they almost certainly will.
I hope that the powers that be will overturn the decision, as it seems to me there were no reasonable grounds to refuse it. Then the other 80 per cent of the population of Todmorden can celebrate!
Gerald Batty, Kilnhurst Road, Todmorden.