Why an alternative would benefit town

Architect Ivor Dibble's plan for a proposed marina and hotel scheme on the Halifax Road gateway site, Todmorden
Architect Ivor Dibble's plan for a proposed marina and hotel scheme on the Halifax Road gateway site, Todmorden

TODMORDEN Pride supports Todmorden Town Council in opposing the proposed Sainsbury’s store in Halifax Road.

We do so because we believe that once the Asda in the town centre has been completed by the summer of 2012 Todmorden will be abundantly served with supermarket choice. We also believe that Asda will provide a boost to town centre retail. The Sainsbury’s proposal will overwhelm the town and adversely affect its character.

In contrast to the obvious success of Hebden Bridge which markets itself as the town of “little shops” we will be known for our excessive provision of supermarkets. We also believe that if Sainsbury’s do build this it will damage all our hopes to regenerate the Bramsche Square-Rose Street Health Centre site into which so much effort and funding has already been invested.

We asked our member Ivor Dibble (whose traditional plan was accepted by Asda for their store) to draw up the marina/hotel scheme on Halifax Road. We did so in order to demonstrate that providing we can resist Sainsbury’s proposals there is a viable scheme available which will dramatically improve Halifax Road and the character of our town.

We believe that the future of Todmorden must amount to more than supermarket provision. We have worked for some time to capitalise on and opening the length of the Rochdale Canal running through our town. From Fielden Wharf through to the present scheme at Lever Street we have worked to improve access to the canal for the enjoyment of the people of Todmorden and visitors and tourists.

We share the frustration at the continued blight of the Halifax Road site but the responsibility for that situation rests fairly and squarely with Sainsbury’s.

Until such time as their application can be turned down they are in a position to offer two to three times more than any alternative commercial proposal.

If we can be patient we can achieve a thoroughly worthwhile scheme for this important site. We believe that Todmorden must have the confidence and ambition to resist Sainsbury’s and take the long view.

Todmorden Pride would be very pleased to hear from anyone with skills and experience in managing funding applications for landscape and environmental improvements to assist us with our work. Our next meeting is at the Todmorden Vintner at 6.30pm on Thursday, July 14, 2011.

James H Gregory

(Chair, Todmorden Pride)