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A new supermarket, hotel and 181 parking bays

From Susan Quick

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Do we want a new supermarket, hotel and parking bays for 181 cars to be built on Brown's - the green area opposite the turning circle. Yes it was an industrial site. The key issue tho is the impact of a Sainsburys, a Waitrose or.... on our local shops. Planning permission is about to be sought for a supermarket a bit bigger than the Co-op.

And the impact would not just be on local shops but on Hebden as a vibrant community, the 4th most interesting town in the world! We risk becoming just another comuter-belt town.

I first came to Hebden in 1993, to a World Development Movement weekend conference. I fell in love with the people, the beautiful scenery, the welcome I received. I moved in. I've lived in the same house, on King Street, ever since.

A woman who has roamed the world: 3 years in North America, 12 in Africa, has found a home which captures the smells, sounds, visions of the world. I find these sounds at the Trades Club, the Blues Festival, Folk Roots, visions at the Arts Festival, Hand-Made Parade and many many more illustrous events. Too many to name.

I fear that if big supermarket and hotel chains claim our home, we will lose our individuality. And, on a practical note, can we afford to increase the intensity of traffic on King Street? Already elderly ladies (myself included!) have to sprint across the road to post a letter or catch a bus. My partner had the side of his car taken off by a passing truck when parked in the King Street parking bay.

Hebden Bridge Town Partnership is hosting a discussion at the Town Hall in the Greenwood Room at 7pm on Wednesday 25th July. I hope lots of people will come and share their views.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe you feel that a hotel would invite more visitors to see our beautiful home; a supermarket would stop people burning fuel to go to Morrisons in Todmorden, Tesco in Halifax.

But lets not forget that half of local business turnover returns to the local economy; whereas less than 5% of supermarket turnover returns to the local economy [Friends of the Earth]. Let's not kill Hebden for a "convenience" store.

From Abi L

Monday, 23 July 2012

This is a horrendous proposal. One thing that makes it so is the fact that all the free parking that would be available- totally unfair to our lacal traders, who even risk getting a ticket just getting their stock into the shops, and who are seriously struggling with flood damage and the economic downturn.

From Andrew B

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I suspect many people won't agree with me, but I'm sure many others will.

I personally am in favour of a supermarket on the site, there will be jobs for local people along with the need for all our independent shops, along with the Co-op to be a little more competitive in their pricing.

Whilst some people are fortunate enough to be able to go to the butchers for all of their meet, the greengrocers for fruit, veg and fish, the deli's for cheeses and cooked meats etc etc, not all of us are in a position where we can. This leaves those people forced to make the journey, either by car or public transport (not easy) to another town to find an affordable supermarket.

If people wish to support the smaller shops then they will continue to do so, but I for one feel that we deserve a choice of where we shop, and should be able to do so locally.

We are surrounded by high street banks, both chemists in the town are Boots, the bookies is a Ladbrokes, the supermarket a Co-op, one of the convenience store's a Spar, a couple of estate agency chains, and most of the pubs are pub co owned, and this makes the town independent?

It's nice to try and keep things local but if people can get a better choice and a better price when doing the weekly shop, what gives anyone the right to prevent that, and would those objecting consider paying the difference?

From Rod H

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

People would only shop at the new supermarket if it was better than what is currently available. If you hadn't noticed, the Co-op is a very large (and not always ethical) chain that gets away with metaphorical murder due to the lack of proper competition...and whilst the ethical middle classes jump in their cars (or don't have to look at the cost of each item) to do the weekly shop, poorer people are the ones who suffer most, forced to pay higher prices for their essentials... so yes, i'm very much in favour of some competition for the Co-op..

From Andy M

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Alternatively having a focus + parking on this site might revitalise that end of Market Street. I don't think that a supermarket/hotel on the old industrial need fundamentally change the character of the town - it's the people that make the place the way it is!

From Abi L

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sainsburys isn't particularly cheap.

For those who want Hebden to be like every other souless town in the country, why don't you go and live somewhere else in one of the other 99%, and leave Hebden for all those of us who prefer an alternative? I'm sure you'd find somewhere just perfect, with all the chain stores you need!

From Andrew B

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sainsburys isn't particularly cheap.

In my experience it is affordable not cheap, and certainly cheaper than Co-op.

For those who want Hebden to be like every other souless town in the country, why don't you go and live somewhere else in one of the other 99%, and leave Hebden for all those of us who prefer an alternative? I'm sure you'd find somewhere just perfect, with all the chain stores you need!

Why should I live somewhere else? Somewhere other than where I've lived all of my life, where my family are from and where most still are? I think it's extremely rude and narrow minded of someone to make such a suggestion.

This is a forum for open discussion, why shouldn't I express my opinion without being shouted down by someone who can presumably afford to shop wherever they wish.

From Paul W

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Abi, some people are arguing that a supermarket would be beneficial. That's not the same as wanting Hebden to be "just like every other souless town in the UK". And don't you think it's overegging it rather to describe every other town in the country as "souless" just because it's got a supermarket that you don't like? You ask "Why don't you go and live somewhere else?" You want people who disagree with you to get out of town? Blimey, what happened to Hebden's famous tolerance?

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

It's a shame that just when government is starting to take the plight of town centres seriously - Mary Portas and all that - Hebden and Tod have a rash of new supermarkets to look forward to. I wonder just how small a town or community has to be before supermarkets give it a miss.

I can see both sides of the argument but think that in a small town, a large supermarket is far more than just another shopping option. Independent businesses that are already struggling will have to struggle much more. Some will succumb, and others that might have started up will be deterred. We risk becoming a community of docile consumers, quite content to see our risk-takers driven out. Diversity? What's that?

We could call it the law of the commercial jungle, shrug and load up our supermarket trolleys. But when as a nation we're beginning at last to seriously question the morality of big business, maybe at a local level we each need to consider whose side we really want to be on.

From Roger N

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

It seems to me that there are two factions here.

One faction likes the idea of Hebden Bridge as a town of 'great little shops'. They like the fact that they are living in a 'funky' little town (whatever that means). They like the free spirit of the place. They tend towards a wonderfully libertine view of a town that they consider to be one large happy family of like-minded people. It's a view that pre-supposes a certain amount of affluence, and with that, a certain amount of choice.

The other faction take a more pragmatic view. Many have lived here all their lives and find that they are being progressively driven out of their town and forced to take a bus ride to LIDL in Tod or Sowerby Bridge, simply to make ends meet. They resent the organic wholefood approach, the boutique coffee shops, the 'moi-moi' kiss that you're expected to give people when you see them. This is not the place they grew up in and hoped to spend, and end, their days.

I suggest there is a middle ground. And that middle ground is a supermarket on Brown's Field. It won't impinge on the affluentia of the town, who can carry on shopping at all their funky little shops, and it will give the Co-op a bit of healthy competition. It would also mean that people of limited means wouldn't have to go up to Tod or Halifax, and spend a fortune on taxi fares back to Hebden.

To those who object to a new supermarket, I'd ask " What right do you have to impose your views on so many people who are struggling to make ends meet?" Can't we just let the laws of supply and demand prevail? Let Sainsburys build. Let's face it, it's at their expense.

Oh, and Abi L, Sainsburys are as cheap as any other supermarket. They match other supermarkets' prices and give you a refund if they are any more expensive.

My hope is that "Theme Park Hebden Bridge" becomes a little less self-conscious and a little more realistic.

From Abi L

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I think you'll find that a large proportion of those of us who oppose this scheme are on low incomes. Some things matter more than money. If you really wanted usefully cheap, you'd be campaigning for a Lidl - which there might be an argument for as so many of us have to shop there.

Hebden is a rare and special place, and you only have to look at what has happened all over the country to see the damage supermarkets do. They are only answerable to their shareholders and only about 5% of the wealth they generate trickles back into the community. Where supermarkets open, greengrocers, grocers and butchers close.

Everyone knows how local businesses are struggling at the moment. The unfair competition of a Sainsburys is the last thing they need. The big temptation to shop there wouldn't be from the prices, it would be the free and ample parking; that would be the real unfair advantage.

Finally, for those of you upset at my suggestion that anyone wanting Hebden to become a souless town full of chainstores might be happier elsewhere, I can only presume that that is what you want, since you wouldn't think it applied to you otherwise. And yes, I do think the average town centre with its W.H Smiths, Boots, Tesco etc is pretty soulless and I would think it a real shame if it happened here.

From Andrew B

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I agree with everything Roger has said, as I said earlier surely we are all entitled to choose where we want to shop.

Abi thinks free parking would be too much of a temptation for people to continue supporting local shops, the last time I looked there was free on street parking outside most shops- you may have to drive round the block once or twice but it really isn't that difficult to park for an hour whilst you nip in the shops that most of us rarely, if ever, use.

I don't feel there is much more that I can add to this thread so unless anything else comes up to stop us going round in circles I'll exercise my right to an opinion and a choice in life and leave you with my thoughts:

I am wholeheartedly in favour of a supermarket (reasons stated previously) and will express my support at all available oportunities. Good luck to the architects/consultants/developers- hopefully the locals who need an affordable weekly shop will be able to get one within walking distace soon.

From Joel B

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

As I said when I opened the debate in March on here about the proposal for the supermarket, this can only be a good thing.

I never use the butchers, grocers or other independent shops in Hebden anyway and I assume the people who want the supermarket are of the same view. How is this going to affect local businesses when we don't use them anyway !?

The people that do use them at the moment will continue to do so I assume. If the people that normally do their shopping at a supermarket in Tod/Halifax will use the new supermarket at the Browns site. I'm no brain box and was never that good at school but the numbers work for me !

If anyone of an inellectual status can tell me otherwise how this is going to affect the independent shops then please explain and I'll be more than happy to apologise if I'm wrong !!

From Andy M

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I'm not sure that there's a correlation between free v cheap parking and choosing between small shops or a supermarket.

I also can't see how having a supermarket would somehow render the town soulless. What would you have instead that would be more funky n soulful? A water-powered, free-trade yurt shopping village with affordable rafts and a steam merry-go-round . . . now there's an idea!

From J Dean

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I'm all for the plans for a new supermarket, hotel and parking and my reasons are;

1) 100 jobs for the local community. That is a massive plus point! We have so many people out of work and I know from first hand experience how hard it can be to find a local job without having to travel to Bradford or beyond. This will be perfect for single mums looking for part time shifts, or students who live in the area Looking for a summer job. You really need to open your eyes and agree this can only be positive or Hebden.

2) it's a hotel first and foremost with only a 'small shop' attached. You all seem to be concentrating on the shop, let's look at the benefits of added tourism to the town. It's not exactly as booming as it used to be. I guess this will be a premier inn or something of the sort. At £29 per room per night compare that to the likes of bar place at £100 plus per room per night. And ok let's look at the shop, I'm a 28 your old male who has lived here all my life and grown up with parents who had nothing, who had to scrape by using expensive local produce. Sometimes I'm sorry to say but you have to have options available to people who can't afford that route. I have a wife and 2 kids now and I support all 3 of them. I will definately be using the shop for basics and don't see anything wrong with it. It's only going to make the spar and coop more competitive!

3) parking. 180 spaces? If its free then that is the best news ever! Have you ever tried getting a parking space in Hebden? And the amount of parking tickets they hand out in the town. No argument

My family have lived in Hebden for years and years. It doesn't make me any more important than someone who moved in yesterday but I think this time we should just go with it. It's not in the centre of town and will only bring tourism, economy and convenience to the town. Let's just all chill out and give them a chance. The field is sitting empty and looms horrid anyway especially with the ruins and overgrown grass. I grew up in Mytholm and there was high rise flats there only 10 years ago. Can't be any uglier than that!In fact I imagine it will look better than it does now

From Dave R

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Abi says
"Some things matter more than money. If you really wanted usefully cheap, you'd be campaigning for a Lid l- which there might be an argument for as so many of us have to shop there"

I agree Abi, some things do matter a lot more than money, but this issue isn't about competitive pricing alone, it is about developing waste land; creating jobs; offering accommodation for visitors to stay longer and giving people a choice.

This is a debate, and you too are perfectly entitled to have your say. But, to spit the proverbial dummy out and tell people who don't agree with you to move out of the area is rather narrow minded.

Would the proposal to open a Lidl or Aldi instead mean that your principles could be compromised?

If so is it not then rather condescending of you to suggest that everyone in Hebden Bridge can afford to shop at the Co-op?

I too would object to a large supermarket encroaching into our town centre, but this development is on the edge of town. It is on wasteland (albeit a wildlife haven as some would argue); and it will offer real jobs for local people. Whats not to like?

From Colin C

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Nothing seems to get the good folk if Hebweb as excited as the prospect of the supermarket springing up within its environs.

I suppose at some point the Browns site will be developed. This development will be primarily economically driven and whilst a swimming pool , boating lake, meditative garden, etc would all be nice, unless someone bankrolls them they won't happen.

I'm one of a presumably large number of people living in the town but working elsewhere and arriving back in the valley after the independent shops have closed, the weekday options for many of us are either the Co-op, Spar or out of town supermarkets. Currently my consumer pounds is split between all these plus the smaller shops in Hebden at weekends. I suspect that if and when this goes ahead the aforementioned Spar and Co-op will be the real casualties (and incidentally neither of these are particularly independent) .

I'm sure most of those who wish to, and are able to, use the butchers, grocers, off licences etc already do so, and if the community is as strong and committed as we are told it is, the same people will continue to do so regardless of a small Sainsburys lurking in Mytholm like the town's dirty secret. The strength and vibrancy, the much heralded funkiness if you like, isn't a product of restricting choice to the residents, but a tendency within its population to make the certain choices, if a supermarket can change the town as much as feared by some, any funkiness must be purely superficial. Ultimately people will get the shops they want and will use.

Hebden Bridge has changed its clothes many times in my lifetime and will no doubt continue to change as different people and businesses come into, and leave, the town. It's gone from a run down mill town, to hippy central, to antique shop metropolis, to coffee shop heaven. Perhaps, Hebden is changing again due to another drift in population. As a final thought, it's strange to think that as a small child I would hear my grandfather complaining that Hebden wasn't Hebden anymore, now the very people he believed changed the town beyond his recognition are saying similar things.

From Stan Morville

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

May I just remind all of recent events.This site is a part of the flooding problem. Any developer will have to lay deep foundations and a complex drainage system.

This will channel a great deal of surplus water into an already stressed existing surface water facility which clearly cannot cope at times of severe weather. This presently offers some minor protection in soaking surface water. Remove it you push the surplus elsewhere. Further downstream! Hebden centre and Mytholmroyd will get it again.

From David Telford

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I think a supermarket is a difficult call. It's close enough to threaten the town centre but too far away to complement it.

The town does need more parking, it does need a hotel that will help visitors stay longer. A Lidl sized store would not be a massive threat, it all comes down to size.

From Dave R

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Stan, if you look at the previous thread. A water turbine is included in the planning. This was posted by PaulD.

Technically, if we reinstated the flood plain and took the river out of culverts, then Hebden Bridge would be underwater every winter, perhaps we should base all our planning decisions on the old flood plains and just abondon it to nature? Or perhaps we should see the flood risk for what it is and engineer solutions to it? The extent of the flood plain is dictated by the here and now, the here and now is largely broken is my argument. Here we have a chance to see if a water turbine and reinstating some of the water mangemen that goes with that could provide a solution to a worsening problem. I don't think that's greenwash I think it's inspired, given the watercourse infrastructure lying half derelict all around us.

From Bill Greenwood

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A new supermarket, hotel and 181 parking bays

Message Body: Ah, Sainsbury's.. founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury and his Wife Mary Ann. Growing from one small shop in London to be (at time of wirting) the third largest chain of supermarkets in the UK. What an inspiration they must be to our small independent shops.

I shall leave you with their trading philosophy from the early days... "Quality perfect, prices lower"

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I think the biggest problems are two fold - a lack of understanding that most of our shops are aimed at tourists and most of the others that aren't are either big companies (Co-op being fourth biggest retailer in the Uk) or just not very good.

People like Abi like to think of the Co-op as a souped up corner shop not part of a multi billion pound corporation. The real problem is it is badly managed, has rubbish stock control and rips people off with its outrageous prices for those who can't afford or are too lazy/ loaded to go elsewhere. Sure, I buy essentials there or things they can't rip me off on like newspapers, but it is without doubt the worst supermarket in the UK.

Turning to our funky shops let's take the nik nak shops out and look at where we can buy things we actually need:

Fish - I don't eat meat but I do eat fish. There is not a decent fishmonger in town which for a town as middle class as this one is bizarre. Don't mention Holt's poor 'selection'. I recently bought some fish from Morrisons well stocked fish counter and their well trained fishmonger offered some really good advice how to cook it. Hardly faceless service and it raises the question how many of our funky shops offer training to their staff. Anyone care to name one?

Meat - don't eat it so no idea if local butchers are any good...anyone care to enlighten me?

Fruit and veg - Co-op is overpiced and runs out of basics like cucumbers and tomatoes on a regular basis. Holts is overpiced and a poor selection and that is about it. Joke.

Organic food - the local stuff is ridiculously overpriced and has a poor range. If you don't believe me a quick trip to Unicorn in Manchester will shock you at how cheap they are. It's cheaper for me to stock up down there instead of locally.

Booze - again not great although Oasis tries hard it is still cheaper to stock up in Tod or Halifax.

Staff terms and conditions - never mentioned in oh so right on Hebden. I have real issues with the big players but I would ask how many of our funky local shops offer training, pensions with employer contributions, abovre minimum wage rates, have health and safety reps/ training , maternity /paternity /adoption leave or encourage trade union membership. In fact the supermarket with best trade union agreement and t&cs is the devil itself Tesco.

I couldn't make the town hall meeting and I think we need to make sure any development doesn't kill the town off. But please let us slip off our rose tinted specs and drop the daft position that small is always good and big always bad. It's far more complex that that.

And ask yourself this question - how much of my weekly spend is local and you will find - like me - it is not much.


From Jonathan Timbers

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Paul asks if our butchers are any good: the answer is that they are very good. Maskill's - which isn't expensive if you buy wisely - raise most of their beef and lamb stock themselves on their farm. Not only is the meat born and bred Yorkshire, so are the owners, and many of their customers too. The quality (of the meat) is generally excellent. The other butchers, Woodhead's provides high quality meat, and specialises in game. I believe Dave Woodhead's been training up a young man over the last couple of years who has become a very competent butcher in his own right.

Because we don't own a car, we have most of our food delivered by either tescos or Sainsbury's, but we do shop locally when we can for meat, and for bread because no one bakes better bread than Saker's - much better value than the stuff that comes in packets, which is usually half air and artificial additives.

From our point of view, a Sainsbury's down the hill would be a good thing, and we'd use it and it would not change our shopping habits vis a vis the local shops at all. However, looking at the question more widely, it might threaten the local co-op which provides free parking in the centre of town, effectively subsidising many of the little shops on Market St. Depending on its size and stock, it might also threaten the delis, Oasis and Valley Stores. The other arty trinket and clothes shops that no one in our income bracket (just above average) can afford to use will be unaffected.

I agree with Paul when he says small equals good and big equals bad is too simplistic a way to think about business. But Sainsbury's will send people into local stores to see what's selling, then it will stock the shelves with similar items and undercut their smaller competitors. That's capitalism for you.

I don't think you can object to Sainsbury getting planning permission on the basis it doesn't fit in with the middle class ethos that one section of the town seem to think defines the place (it doesn't, as this thread clearly shows). Nor am I sure - once planning permission has been granted - how you guarantee that they only build a small store there. No am I convinced that it will bring a 100 jobs and training and trade union rights to the valley.

More facts and less opinion would be helpful.

From Alison W

Thursday, 26 July 2012

I agree with Jonathan. We shop for meat at the excellent butchers in town and wouldn't buy it from anywhere else, same as with bread and almost all of our vegetables are bought at Holts, Oasis and the Co-op, again I don't think that I would ever change this. I enjoy being a personal customer at places where I am recognized, chatted to etc. However I am fed up with planning a meal, going to the co-op and not being able to get half of the ingredients. So once a week an Ocado delivery van delivers our order of foodstuff which we are unable to get locally.

I personally would welcome a Sainsburys on the outskirts of town which I would walk to rather than drive and thereby reducing the petrol use of the van. This area needs jobs, not only in working at the store but in building the structure.

From Greg Hobson

Friday, 27 July 2012

I really like the the plans for a supermarket here. The developers have properly consulted locally (as they promised they would - case closed) and we are 'happy' with the plans.

Supermarkets are great. They collaborate to undercut farmers, suppliers and business at every level to give us the very best in choice and price. They ship foodstuffs from all over the world to give us the most satisfying ingredients for our meals - we can even get asparagus in November and imagine how awful that would have been before 'super' markets? The food is always fresh...in fact it is unthinkable that they would stock anything beyond its sell-by date. You should see the amount of stuff that gets thrown away; and just for us. They offer jobs to local people with great wages and conditions of service and in some cases, the best in the sector. Proper jobs. It's progress isn't it and of a type that benefits us all locally, as well as society and culture as a whole?

From David Telford

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Paul, I think we all know the Co-op is not the lttle retailer struggling away. It's USP is it's ethical stance which is just marketing ar the end of the day, good luck to them.

I think you have to be careful when being rude about shops, it's their livlihood and rubbishing them on a local forum with little basis of fact is not on. If someone posted on here that Paul Clarke was useless at xyz (whatever your profession is/was) and as a result, nobody would give you a job, you'd be pretty annoyed and may even look to recoup your losses through legal recourse.

Holts is actually very good IMHO, the fish is fresh and fairly local for a town a long way from the sea. You mention Morrisons in comparison and although it's the best of the big supermarkets for fish and has a better supply chain than most, it's still slower at getting from Quay to counter than Holts. I've noticed their staff have been given a few pointers as to cooking fish which is a nice touch but it's just marketing.

The area I'd have to take you up on is your little hit at the idea small businesses should provide training, pensions with employer contributions, above minimum wage rates, have health and safety reps/ training, maternity /paternity /adoption leave or encouragement of trade union membership. Usually, with an independant retailer, the person you are dealing with is the owner, they've sourced the stock, merchandised, advertised, tilled up, done the accounts, stood the losses for theft and don't take a salary until they've paid their rent, rates, heat & light etc. They can't afford to pay for additional training, pensions, or salaries. A typical retailer with a small store before taking on additional staff will have overheads of around £3,700 per month and with a margin of around 40% means they need to sell £11,150 incl VAT just to break even every month.

So when you take your custom elsewhere because you have real issues with the lack of pension provision, training schemes and the fact that they are more expensive than a shop 3 gallons of petrol away - I think you need to think about the realities of running a business.

From Andy M

Saturday, 28 July 2012

'It's close enough to threaten the town centre but too far away to complement it.'

Is there a critical point then? The Fox and Goose? 10 metres further on?

From Lizzie Watkins

Saturday, 28 July 2012

I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned what I would have thought was a pretty acceptable solution: A Booths Supermarket. Please please please! It ticks almost all the boxes. No really, if you've not been to one, the nearest (northern family firm with a serious commitment to stocking totally locally produced top class food) is Ilkley. Go & have a look. They're also very sensitive to designing their stores to fit in with the local vernacular style. So no nasty/dreary corporate style a la Tesco/Sainos.

Surely it's naive to imagine that, Canute like, we can repel the supermarket invader. The best we can do is to make sure that we get one of the good guys. Vote Booths! It will fit in so well with our great shops. The existing really first class food shops will have no fear of competition: Stephen Maskill, David Woodhead, Waites & Saker Bakers will not even notice a new kid on the block. For some others, & I'm sure you know who you are, it might just ginger you up a tad. Surely all to the benefit of the town

From Paul Clarke

Saturday, 28 July 2012

David, you make some good points and I certainly wasn't suggesting Holts were not a very good choice for many local people...just not for me which is my opinion and you balance it by saying they work for you. As someone obsessed with the free market I thought that supported your case in this instance.

BTW . . . people can say what they wish about me and often do including your good self.

I think your point about not bothering about staff training etc might be right when it is one man/woman band but when they employ staff then they have a duty to provide basic rights. The big boys do it by setting aside part of their profit to do so and there is no reason why the smaller operators should be immune. If they do then it distorts the free market you love.

In relation to the Co-op many people don't recognise it is a big business which in Hebden at least might be ethical, but is badly run especially when it has a big player monopoly.

David, I don't take my trade elsewhere because of the lack of training opportunities etc - I don't shop at some big players for those reasons - but because the choice I want isn't here. BTW..I don't know where this mythical supermarket is that requires three gallons of petrol for me to get to and I would suggest you get a more fuel efficient vehicle.

Finally, I am in complete agreement with you that it is about size and scale of any future development and I agree with you that a Netto size supermarket or at worst one the size of Morrison's in Tod would be enough.

All this is rather moot as if this goes ahead there will be a planning battle that will make Garden St look like nothing. That is good and I am open to being convinced we don't need more development.

From Dave R

Monday, 30 July 2012

Some good points in this debate aren't there?

I like the fact that there are those who would welcome this development; There are those in total opposition, who try to tell us that it will only offer low paid jobs. in comparison to what? Because as far as I know there is a minimum wage which is a damn sight more than the £71 per week for Job-seekers allowance.

There are those who sort of oppose it - unless of course its a nice respectable brand, and not too big. No snobbery intended of course; Then those who are going to object per se because they don't want anything to change ever, so make sarcastic comments about the heinous crimes of supermarkets such as selling asparagus in November!!!

Keep it going please, it livens up a wet week and fills the gaps between watching the Olympics extravaganza.

Oops, hope I haven't gone and started a row about the cost of that now.

From Abi L

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dave R- if a Lidl was against my principles I would scarcely have suggested it, now would I??!!

And Paul Clarke - so 'people like' me think the Co-op is a glorified corner shop, do we? Did I even mention the Co-op? I don't think I did, I refer you to my previous comment re Lidl.

From Dave R

Monday, 30 July 2012

Abi -I personally find Lidl OK too, but does having a Lidl making Hebden Bridge somehow less 'soul-less' than say a Sainsburys?

I don't quite get your point.

You seemed to be saying it would be ok to have a Lidl, and that those of us that wouldn't mind a Tesco et all should move home.

So if you wouldnt have suggested it if it didn't compromise your principles please enlighten me! Is Lidl greener than Tesco? Do they offer only fair trade? Do they pay humungous wages? What are your reasons for your stance on Lidl is all that I asked?

From Jason Elliott

Monday, 30 July 2012

There has been a very good debate here about the idea of a supermarket on this site, but in my view this has missed the critical point about the benefits of additional accommodation a hotel would bring to the area.

Let's look at the economics of this, plain and simple.

Those people who "day-trip" to Hebden Bridge spend a few bob, usually in the independent shops, coffee houses and the odd eatery. But those who stay overnight spend a huge amount more and this seems to be wildly underestimated.

I asked a question at a recent meeting of Hebden Royd Town Council, "Who knows how much the Council gave to support the 2011 Arts Festival?" and the answer of £5000 came back as quick as a flash. However, when I asked what they thought the actual economic contribution to the area was the answers were somewhat more hesitant with £40,000 being the best guess.

In fact this was way out as the total figure had been calculated at up to £432,000. (I say "up to" as there are three widely accepted methodologies for this and the answers range from just under £300,000 to the £432k figure.)

The majority of this revenue is from people coming from out of the area and staying the night, whether with friends, in a hotel or whatever.

Likewise, even small events like our Blues Festival, precisely because they attract visitors from other parts of the country who stay overnight, are capable of bring in large economic benefits to the town, (between £60k and £80k in this case).

In the run up to the Blues Festival, small that it was, we had many calls from people looking for accommodation as the town was "full" (allegedly) and some ended up staying in Halifax.

This demand on existing beds has been further exascerbated by the fact that, due to the flooding, both Moyles and Bar Place are now closed so we've lost a further 25% of the town's accommodation, and that there are twenty weddings booked in so far at the new Town Hall building, creating further pressure.

I understand that there are concerns about the impact of an additional supermarket, and rightly so, these things should be subject to a good debate, but in my opinion the massive positive impact of being able to host greater numbers of visitors and their much needed "discretional spending" (holiday money for blowing, in plain English) makes a good argument for this proposal.

These visitors are often the sort of people who have come for the so-called "funky" aspect of Hebden Bridge and are therefore much more likely to buy the things in some of the independent shops, keeping that aspect of our town's current culture alive, if not thriving, more than off-setting any negative impact of another supermarket.

As has been mentioned before, some of these independent shops are based on sound principles of great products, tremendous product knowledge, good service and fair prices (Maskills springs to mind) and they will hopefully continue to thrive in the local economy, whether or not there is an additional supermarket. Some of the others, that stock some of the more esoteric and wacky products that the locals only use when there are birthday presents to buy, will have an enlarged market of visitors to serve.

From Paul Clarke

Monday, 30 July 2012

Oh Jason, you've mentioned the H word and now we'll get people moaning about that as well as the S word.

Seriously though you make some very interesting points re: room capacity locally which I hope we will all explore. People won't want a Travelodge but whatever the hotel version of Booths is.

From Ruth F

Monday, 30 July 2012

There's no need for all to worry about driving to supermarkets - you can do a shop online, they're coming your way anyway, so fuel efficient ... and no need to spoil HB with a large supermarket development. Tesco do delivery slots for as little as £2.50.

Mind you more parking would be useful, but supermarkets have a way of making sure only their customers can park there and often only for a limted time period.

As for a hotel, while extra tourist accomodation would be nice for some, a few B&Bs and such would be more in character with the area, and keep the incoming profits in the hands of local people rather than a lage company.

From Greg Hobson

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dave R; to conflate my comment about asparagus with your perception that I might be resistant to change is somewhat simplistic and, in fact wrong. I supprt change, but generally of a more radical and thoughtful kind than the building of a supermarket. Incidentally, apart from the ridiculous air miles that are flown to bring foodstuffs to the uk, there is the longer term damage to ecosystems and ultimately, communities that provide these: see How Peru's wells are being sucked dry by British love of asparagus

Excuse the pun but, some food for thought perhaps?

From Kate Westall-Ives

Monday, 30 July 2012

Those worried about a supermarket coming to the edge of town should take a trip to Clitheroe. They have Tesco, Sainsburys, Lidl and Booths. They also have more independent shops than you can shake a stick at.

From Paul D

Monday, 30 July 2012

As far as I know there is no tenant for this development as yet, either for the hotel or supermarket.

Could it be that we're missing the obvious? There's no planned Tesco, no Sainsbury, no Travelodge, no Holiday Inn - perhaps there's no interest?

We may have another example of a site lile Walkley's that may never be developed because those who can afford to don't appear to want to and those who want to (often the owners) simply can't afford to.

The former Brown's site could generate and sell energy. Properly developed it could virtually fuel the town, reduce our energy costs and cut our national dependence on gas. Building a series of water turbines fed by an existing water infrastructure (with a few expensive repairs) it could make us the regional centre of renewable energy development and spin off numerous water technology employment opportunities. Brown's could be a huge green power station, now that'd be interesting.

From Susan Quick

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What hasn't been mentioned in this thread is the impact a supermarket and hotel would have on traffic density on the road from Hebden to Tod. And we are not just talking about cars parking in the 181 parking bays. Don't forget all the delivery trucks.

I haved lived on King Street for 20 years and in that time the traffic density has multiplied. I had the side taken off my car parked in the parking bay, by a passing truck one night. We take our life in our hands to cross the road to catch a bus or post a letter. And the bus stops are now wheelchair accessible. God help the person crossing the road in a wheelchair. I frequesntly see ladies of riper years hitchingup their skirts to sprint across the road.

Myra mentions the need to give us a pavement on the river sider of King Street. What about a pedestrian crossing? When I asked the architects at the consultation I was told that was Calderdale's responsibility, not theirs. Janet Battye recently led an analysis of crossing needs on King Street, nothing to do with Brown's site development, for current needs. I understand there's already a waiting list for crossings in front of Calderdale's schools.

And we'll need a roundabout. Can't see too many supermarket delivery trucks using the turning circle. Who pays for all of this? Presumably the landowners don't have a pot to hand over to Highways?

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Susan brings up the issue that will stop development on that site and one that opponents of any development will rightly use.

From Myra James

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

I would hope to see some benefits in terms of highway improvements out of any development at Brown's. A proper pavement opposite the site is essential - in an ideal world this would be provided as a matter of course because it is simply outrageous that we have a major road in a residential area without one, but in the real world we might have to look to an opportunity like this to get it.

Highway plans included in the architects' drawings, as shown to us at the consultation held at the Stubbing Wharf, included various measures including a crossing point by way of a central refuge, the idea being to help people to cross over before reaching the part with no pavement - some help but not enough in my view. These proposed highway improvements were supplied to the architects by Calderdale engineers. What I failed to ask was who would pay for them.

Further to Susan's question on this point I am wondering whether we might expect the developers to provide highway improvements via a section 106 agreement - does anyone with more knowledge than me have an opinion on that?

From Paul D

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Proposed developments can often act as a sort of lightening rod for a whole series of other concerns. There are issues about traffic and road safety in that area, but just imagine the site stays as it is now.

Crossing the road from King Street will still be dangerous. There still won't be a pelican crossing at Mytholm for the elderly and children to use (they're not a priority apparently). There'll be no footpath from Mytholm to the Stubbing Bridge that avoids either walking in, or crossing a busy road. Cars will still overtake anyone doing 30 or thereabouts as they exit Hebden Bridge, there'll still be no traffic calming measures or speed cameras to prevent the excessive speeding on that stretch of road. Cars and trucks will still stop, reverse into the road and park opposite the burger van. The road will still flood due to poorly maintained drains.

If the site stays as it is, aesthetically quite pleasing but little more than that, nothing will change. If it's developed the road will be a little bit safer to cross. Those parents who drive to Mytholm school will find it easier to park and walk, Church Lane will be safer, a right turn into the site will prevent overtaking and reduce some of the excessive speed that has King Street residents fleeing back to the kerb, those walking on Burnley Road will be better protected from the traffic. All imperfect perhaps, but a greater contribution to the safety of local people who travel on foot than our authority has managed in 25 years.


From Chris Standish

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I've just been reading the views and comments. They are all very relevant and yes Myra, you'd expect any highways works (and indeed other things like flood alleviation) to be covered by the developers contribution or S.106.

The last I heard was that the 'agents' (the architects) were going to submit a planning application in the very near future. That isn't great news I'm afraid as to get to a full application stage means that the owners have commited considerable cost, time and consultant expertise in developing their plans.

The best way to influence planning proposals is to have meaningful engagement early on in the process - otherwise you are on the back foot time and expertise wise.

Perhaps now is the time for one of the residents to invite the architects to a meeting to see if they are minded to have a meaningful engagement process, supported by the Council ?

Maybe meet with other concerned stakeholders such as the Coop? Having spoken with their Planning Manager, I know they have something to say on emerging proposals.

Maybe this way you'd feel listened to and understand the reasons behind the proposals. Perhaps consensus could be reached on a scheme that benefits all concerned ?

As a chartered town planner for +15 years, that's what Ii'd suggest and be happy to help you all with.

From Susan Quick

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Apparently a planning application has been submitted for supermarket, hotel and parking bays at Mytholm Works (Brown's site) - the green area opposite the turning circle.

However it is not yet available for public review; it has been referred back to the applicant for further details.

Janet Battye, Vice-Chair Calderdale MBC has agreed to Chair a public consultation at the Stubbing Wharf pub. We will fix a date as soon as the application is published. We plan to invite representatives of the Business Association, the disabled community, residents of the old people's home, parents and teachers at the Mytholm Junior School, and of course residents of Mytholm and everyone else who lives in Hebden and/or has an interest in its future development.

What do you think? Do you fancy a new supermarket and hotel? Would they make Hebden a better place to live? Or would they undermine our essential uniquemess? Threaten our independent shops? This is our town, we want what is best for all the residents: young, old, disabled, working, unemployed, etc, etc...


From Dave R

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Thanks for the update. I will certainly attend.

Just an aside - Mytholm Meadows is not an 'Old Peoples Home' but Sheltered Housing. It is a bit derogatory to refer to it in such an outdated and incorrect way.

From Susan Quick

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sorry did I really say "old people's home"? Yes I did. Abject apologies. Of course sheltered accommodation.

From Richard Holden

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Just to put everyone at ease..
The site is actually in Mytholm not Hebden...

Problem solved..

So for the people with a NIMBY attitude this should not be an issue at all.

If Tod was to put in yet another "Supermarket" would you care?

From Susan Quick

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Well the planning application has gone in. It's not live on Calderdale MBC's planning application web yet. Apparently more information needed. Soon. We will hold a public meeting in the upstairs room of the Stubbing Wharf pub to discuss the implications: provisional date Sunday October 14th, 2-5pm. There'll be copies of the plans to peruse over lunch (free but donations welcome).

Then we'll take a walk down to the site and try our best to understand exactly what is proposed. How will it affect us? Will there be neon lights flashing all night long?

Town Planner, Chris Standish, who writes in this forum, has agreed to lead the meeting. We're inviting the Business Association to tell us what they think - how will our small shops be affected? One of the butchers has already told me it'll close him down. Is Hebden Bridge about to become a town of charity shops and cups of tea?

What do you think? Do you fancy a new supermarket and hotel on your doorstep? The hotel will providce accommodation for people coming to all our Festivals and attending marriage ceremonies in the Town Hall. And these visitors provide a very welcomed income our town.

What about the supermarket? Nearly all supermarket income goes to shareholders and supply companies. Very little stays in Hebden. And yet more trucks roaring into Hebden. How will our road safety be affected? And sleepless night?

How will the local school be affected? Parking will be provided for teachers and parents. And the sheltered accommodation? Will it be handy to have a supermarket with disabled access on the doorstep?

Please come to the meeting and tell us what you think. 12-5pm Sunday 14th October in upstairs room, Stubbing Wharf pub. Yes I know that seems like a l o n g time! But we need to pour over the plans while eating lunch. Then walk down and try to get a picture in our mind's eye. Come back, get a drink, relax and chat. Then a range of people will be invited to tell us how it affects them: Business Association, school, sheltered housing, disabled shoppers.

Then of course you get to ask questions. What do you think? We need to know. Tell us please. Do you want a new supermarket, bigger than the Co-op, on your doorstep?

From Anne H

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Two points - firstly Mytholm is in Hebden Bridge. You're not confusing it with Mytholmroyd are you?

Secondly, I suspect that many people in sheltered accommodation would greatly appreciate a supermarket they can walk to. Few people from Mytholm Meadows can get into the centre of Hebden to shop without getting a bus or taxi, even though it seems such a short distance to the rest of us. But is anyone asking them their views - maybe they are not watching forums like this and maybe they would not cross the busy road to a meeting in the Stubbing Warf in an upstairs room. How about taking the meeting to them? Just a thought.

From Mark Simmonds

Saturday, 13 October 2012

It's interesting that pro supermarket letters from visitors and former residents are starting to appear in the local press. It's very difficult to verify that these are real people with real views.

I take any such letters, whatever they, with a pinch of salt.

See also

HebWeb News: Public Meeting at Stubbing Wharf (October 2012)

HebWeb Forum: Brown's site (March-May 2012)