Decision day on three Barnoldswick supermarkets plans

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A DECISION is set to be made on Monday night on three supermarket applications for Barnoldswick.

A special meeting of Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee will take place at Rolls-Royce Social Club at 6pm to consider the three options.

An application from Pendle Projects Ltd to build a 1,472 sq. m. Aldi complete with 70-space car park at Skipton Road Business Park is recommended for approval, and with it, conservation consent to demolish existing buildings.

A second application to demolish buildings on the L&P Springs site and then construct a 3,344 sq. m. Tesco store including a 183-space car park, cycle park and have vehicular access off Wellhouse Road and Masons Way is also recommended for approval with referral to the Secretary of State for a final decision.

However, a third application for outline approval for the demolition of buildings on the Albert Hartley site on Skipton Road to be replaced by a 3,500 sq. m. industrial unit and 3,348 sq. m food store with 233-space car park is recommended for refusal.

Reasons given are that its size, cumulatively in conjunction with development of the L&P Springs premises on Wellhouse Road, would have an unacceptably detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of Barnoldswick’s existing town centre.

Chris Soper, Director at Albert Hartley, has expressed regret at the view taken, especially as the proposal providing job creation and apprenticeships at Albert Hartley itself.

He said: “It is disappointing that the planning department has chosen to recommend this application for refusal on the basis of a technicality.

“It is a real shame that they’ve all but ignored issues that we feel are really key in determining the application.

“I just hope that the members of the planning committee can see the wider benefits that the Albert Hartley proposal provides and that they will look favourably on this proposal so that we can work towards keeping a 100-year old business operating in Barnoldswick.

“Myself and my staff want to stay and continue to grow here but despite a visit to our premises to view the dire condition they are in, the planning officer remains unconvinced of seriousness of this genuine dilemma in which the company finds itself. In short, if this application is refused, we will have no option but to leave Barnoldswick.”

Public opinion has been split by the proposals for a supermarket and Conservative candidates at the local elections in May surveyed almost 7,500 homes in West Craven finding that 51% of people interviewed who expressed an opinion were in favour of a supermarket and 49% were not.

Of those interviewed from the Earby ward, 66% said yes and 34% no, while in Craven ward the figure was 47% in favour and 53% not in favour and in Coates ward, 41% said yes and 59% said no.

However, two applications have the recommendation of approval and Emyr Williams, Development Director at Liberty Properties, behind the Tesco bid, said: “Naturally we are delighted by the council’s recommendation to approve our plans for a new Tesco store on part of the L&P Springs site.

“We have received a fantastic amount of support over the last year from local residents who want to be able to do their weekly shop in Barnoldswick, and our project team has worked very hard to bring forward an application that provides the best possible links with the town centre.”

Mark Taylforth, from Pendle Projects, behind the Aldi application: said: “We are very pleased we have now got a recommendation for approval after all the months of hard work to get to this place.

“We now very much hope the committee goes with the recommendation as we feel Aldi is the right size supermarket for Barnoldswick.”

Neil Watson, Pendle Council’s Planning and Building Control Manager, said: “This is a chance for local residents to have their say on the applications.

“If you want to speak at the meeting, you must let Pendle Council’s Committee Section know on 01282 661654 or 661648 by 12 noon on Monday.

“If you don’t give advance notice, you won’t be able to speak on the night. Each speaker will be allocated a maximum of five minutes.”