Mixed reaction to refusal of Tesco plan in Barnoldswick

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Reaction to the dismissal of an appeal by a Tesco backed consortium wanting to build a foodstore in Barnoldswick has continued this week.

The decision was issued by a government appointed planning inspector after an appeal by the consortium of Liberty Properties Ltd, Leggett and Platt Components Europe Ltd and Tesco Ltd into the non-determination of an application by Pendle Council.

In a detailed 28-point decision, Mr Philip Asquith said: “Given the important role of the Co-op as an anchor for the town centre and my views on the likely cumulative effects of two large-format food stores on it and consequent reduction in footfall, on balance, I consider there to be a strong probability of a substantial impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

A second, identical application submitted by the consortium for the foodstore on the L&P Springs site off Ravenscroft Way was refused by Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee in August, along with an application for an Aldi in Skipton Road Business Park.

At the same meeting, an application for an unnamed foodstore on the site of Albert Hartley in Skipton Road was approved by councillors.

At the appeal, David Dunne, a Europe-wide Project Director at L&P, said if the scheme did not go ahead, the company may have to pull-out of Barnoldswick resulting in “significant” job losses.

Nobody at L&P was available to comment on the potential pull-out from Barnoldswick while Tesco declined to comment on the decision.

Emyr Williams, Development Director at Liberty Properties, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the inspector’s decision.

He added the consortium was “considering all options” in light of the appeal decision and didn’t rule out a judicial inquiry.

Other reactions have been cautious with Coun. David Whipp, Chairman of Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee, saying: “We are not out of the woods completely. The consortium are still threatening to take us to the High Court for a judicial review.

“All the critics have perhaps been silenced a little bit. If we hadn’t handled it in the way we did, every tax payer in Barnoldswick and even Pendle could have been picking up a whopping great bill.”

Adam Higgins, Director at Capital and Centric PLC, behind the Albert Hartley development said at the appeal that formal approaches from Sainsburys, Morrisons and Asda had already been received as well as an informal approach from Tesco.

However, he would not be drawn on whether the Tesco position had changed in light of the decision.