A supermarket chain has been given the green light to build a new store in Brighouse.
Despite claims that it would cause further congestion and risk road safety, councillors on Calderdale Council’s planning committee backed Aldi’s proposal to build on the junction of Birds Royd Lane and Huddersfield Road.
The plans include demolishing Calderbank House, 9a Birds Royd Lane, Princess Works and Royd House.
Brighouse Business Initiative objected to the plans on the grounds that the site was too far from the town centre with its spokesman saying there was a preferable alternative at Sugden’s Mill.
He urged councillors to refuse the application or at least defer it until the council is clear on the position of the site at Mill Royd Street. He said: “It’s questionable whether you’ll get or miss out on an opportunity to regenerate a key town centre site.”
The representative for BBI said that Younger Homes was in talks with another “discount operator” for use of the site but they might not come to Brighouse if this application was allowed to go ahead.
Councillor Ann McAllister (Con, Rastrick) said there was support from neighbours for regeneration in terms of the development, healthy competition and convenience. But asked for it to be deferred on road safety grounds.
Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) was also allowed to speak as the site falls just outside his ward. “I would like to see it go ahead because the fact that it is going to completely rejuvenate that part of town.”
He said the fact that maybe another discount store might walk away from the town if Aldi was permitted didn’t wash with him. “I feel it is worthy and will create jobs and will improve an eye sore.”
Mike Barton, for Aldi, said that the Younger Homes site was not available within a reasonable timescale. “They’ve had the whole site for the last 12 months, that is a long time to have nothing concrete or no pre-applications.”
Councillor David Hardy voted in favour of the plans saying that Aldi isn’t like any other supermarket and had a niche market. The decision was permitted, five to two.