Protesters from Hebden Bridge who want to save the town’s shops went head to head with Sainsbury’s tonight and won.
Meeting at Halifax Town Hall, Calderdale Council Planning Committee rejected the shopping giant’s proposal to build in the town on the grounds that Sainsbury’s large delivery lorries could disrupt access, parking and traffic flow.
Sainsbury’s is expected to appeal against the decision.
A local group, SOS – Save Our Shops, has been campaigning for the last 9 months to preserve this ‘totally local’ town. They objected to the planning application at the Planning Committee meeting, along with Calder ward Councillor Dave Young and Hebden Royd parish council mayor, Cllr Jonathan Timbers.
Support from local residents and shop keepers has led to 564 objection letters being lodged with the council. This compares with only 4 letters of support for Sainsbury’s plan to build a Sainsbury’s Local (with an alcohol licence) on the old fire station site on Valley Road.
The recommendation from Calderdale Council planning department was that this supermarket planning application should be accepted.
SOS- Save Our Shops claimed this was an abuse of democracy, after Hebden Royd town council rejected the planning application last winter and Sainsbury’s have since ignored all recommendations to meet with the town folk and to do a retail impact assessment.
Hebden Bridge is one of the few remaining high streets with a thriving variety of independently run shops, where the money spent goes straight back into the local community, rather than a greedy conglomerate’s pocket.
SOS – Save Our Shops reject the idea that the town needs the urban re-generation that Sainsbury’s claims to bring.
SOS -Save Our Shops say that the planned 35 deliveries a week down an already congested road with an 11m articulated lorry is a frightening thought for those living and working in this area.
The group were expecting a huge crowd to turn out to raise their banners and let Calderdale Council know that a small town can have a loud and powerful voice!
[This is based on and updates a press release from SOS – Save Our Shops]