Sainsbury's Plans resubmitted - without Retail Impact Assessment
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Just as summer starts and we are all off on our holidays, Sainburys have finally submitted amendments to their planning application for the Old Fire Station site on Valley Road (Ref 13/01542/FUL) in Hebden Bridge. It has taken them more than 4 months to submit this information and now they are pushing for a speedy outcome.
Sainsbury's are refusing to do a Retail Impact Assessment, as requested by Calderdale Council; this would address the community's concern over the increase in supermarket floor space within the town. This assessment is needed because the additional 450m2 of this store, added to the permission already granted for a 2,140m2 supermarket on the Browns site in Mytholm, means the town suddenly has 2,590sq.m extra retail space. A Retail impact assessment is required when there is over 2,500m2 .The whole floor area of the local Co-op is about 2,500m2. Can Hebden Bridge sustain this?
The concern is that this would cause our precious small shops - those that give the town its unique, vibrant quality, to struggle and then close. There is a direct correspondence to the growth in supermarket activity and the decline of the British High streets. The BBC's "Mary Queen Of Shops", shopping expert Mary Portas, blamed supermarkets for "killing" Britain's smaller shops and said "We're sacrificing not just our greengrocers, our butchers and our bakers, but also our communities for convenience."
In a recent shop survey carried out by SOS Hebden Bridge, all of these local shop keepers we spoke to felt their businesses would be affected, as did most of those people asked. This is a real concern.
Added to this, Sainsburys have requested a devastating delivery routine. If the permission is granted we would be seeing an 11.2m long lorry delivering 7 times a day. The added problems a vehicle of this size would cause entering the town by the White Lion, turning over the bridge towards the town hall, where many pedestrians spill upon the street should not be underrestimated. Turning up Valley road and parking opposite the colonnade of small shops. When exiting, it is proposed that 3 car parking spaces are lost on Regent Street to allow a turn back onto narrow Hangingroyd Lane, to leave the town again by the same route.
Watch this space for the date of the Committee Meeting where this will be discussed and decided. It will be on a Tuesday night at Calderdale Council in Halifax, but it has yet to be allocated a date. We hope you will come and support our campaign - SOS, Hebden Bridge.
HebWeb News: Sainsbury's plans now online (30 Jan 2014)
HebWeb Forum - Sainsburys and Tescos survey (Feb 2014)
HebWeb News: Protests as Town Council discusses the Sainsburys bid (8 Jan 2014)
HebWeb Forum - Sainsburys and Tescos
HebWeb News - Jamie Oliver in Hebden Bridge. Hecklers question the wisdom of using Hebden Bridge to advertise a supermarket chain which puts small shops out of business. (October 2009)