Backed up by three hundred people who signed Incredible Edible Mytholm’s petition to Calderdale Planning Committee, Incredible Edible Mytholm’s chairperson, Margaret Boyle, will speak against the Setbray/Belmont Homes supermarket and hotel planning application when Calderdale Planning Committee meets at 6pm on 3rd December in Halifax Town Hall.
Margaret will tell the Planning Committee that Incredible Edible Mytholm and hundreds of local people object because:
- The retail impact assessment submission that the Planning Committee is considering on 3rd Dec shows that no hotel or supermarket is interested in locating on the site or is associated with the developers’ planning application. Therefore the application is purely speculative – an attempt to increase the sale price of the site.
- The site is an important designated employment site for Hebden Bridge. Increasing its sale price by approving this speculative planning application would make the site far less affordable and economic for any company that is interested in developing it for job creation and for key National Planning Policy Framework objectives, eg aiding the area to make the transition to a low carbon economy. Therefore, if the Planning Committee were to approve this speculative planning application, the site would be likely to remain vacant indefinitely.
- The type of hotel proposed by the developer is seen as a non-starter by Calderdale Council’s own tourism development department. A study they commissioned in 2010 found that Hebden Bridge would not provide a viable market for the kind of branded, budget hotel proposed in this application. The only category of hotel that the study saw as viable for the area is a small boutique hotel.
- If a supermarket were to materialise out of the blue, it would place our wonderful independent shops and our Co-op supermarket at risk. This is the finding from Incredible Edible Mytholm’s retail impact assessment last January, which asked over 70 town centre businesses if a supermarket on the Mytholm Works site would damage the vitality and viability of Hebden Bridge Town Centre. Nearly all the 22 businesses that replied said that a supermarket on the Mytholm Works site would damage them, because it would reduce footfall in the town centre. The local business owners think this would cause town centre shops and cafes to close, and that it would also have a knock on effect on their local suppliers.
- The developers’ own survey of public opinion found that people in Hebden Bridge by and large do not want a supermarket in the town. The Hebden Bridge Public Survey 2012 (commissioned by Setbray Properties and included among the planning application documents) shows that when asked what Hebden Bridge lacks, 40% of the public who were questioned said “nothing” and only 14% said “a supermarket”.