Angry business owners have vowed to fight a plan by supermarket giant Lidl to build a new store in Brighouse.
Lidl has submitted plans to build a new outlet on Wakfield Road, between Wood Street and Grove Street, approximately 125 metres from Brighouse town centre.
The application includes the demolition of existing buildings on the site, which will be replaced by a new 2,167 square metre store with 96 parking spaces - and the creation of “a significant number” of new jobs.
But the plans have met with opposition from existing businesses in the town. Lesley Adams, chairwoman of the Brighouse Business Initiative, is concerned about the impact the store would have on the local economy.
“It’s going to end up as a ring road of supermarkets around Brighouse,” she said.
“It started with Tesco, then Sainsbury’s and now it could be Lidl - how many more will there be?
“We are crying out for industrial land in Brighouse - we’re desperate for it.
“Industrial sites are great for jobs. You can get so many more jobs from industrial land than another supermarket.
“I know they’ve had offers to use the land as an industrial site but they’re obviously holding out for more money.
“It took us more than ten years to recover from Sainsbury’s opening in the town.
“Shop vacancy rates went through the roof - there were 30 empty shops at the height of that. How many more times can we recover from things like that.
“Plus there’s the impact on traffic.
“But we’ll fight it. We’re fighting against Aldi opening a store here and we’ll do the same with Lidl.”
Lidl says the new store will enhance the site for the community and will benefit the local economy. In its planning statement, Lidl said the store will create an “attractive and inviting environment” and will provide “commercial prominence to Wakefield Road without presenting an overbearing feature”.
The document also says access to the site will have the “minimum impact on the function of the local highway network”.
Lidl said the store will have no more than two deliveries to the outlet per day.
In a statement, Lidl said: “Brighouse has always been an area of interest for Lidl so we are pleased that our plans to bring a store to the town have been validated by the local council.
“We hope that the council will come to a final decision early May time and we will then be able to give more details on the plans for the site.
“Whilst, subject to approval, a new Lidl store would bring a significant number of new jobs to the area, at this stage we cannot confirm the exact number that will be created.”
Brighouse already has a Tesco and Sainsbury’s supermarket. Aldi is also looking to open a new store in the town.