Bold plans for a £20m supermarket on the site of a Shipley scrap yard have met with a mixed response from local people and community leaders alike – despite the promise of 450 jobs.
Plans for the eight-acre site where Crossley Evans is based in Otley Road include an 80,000sq ft superstore, petrol station and 364 covered parking spaces.
The land runs down to the railway line and is owned by Network Rail and DB Schenker Rail, who have not yet commented on the proposal, revealed by the Telegraph & Argus yesterday.
Developers GMI Holdings Ltd of Leeds are preparing to submit the application next month.
Community leaders yesterday greeted the proposal of another new supermarket for Shipley with cautious comments.
Coun Alex Ross-Shaw (Lab, Windhill and Wrose) said the site’s position meant it would attract custom from his side of the canal.
“I’m not against new supermarkets on ideological grounds, but we have to look at these sort of proposals in depth,” Coun Ross-Shaw said.
“I know people have concerns about supermarkets being detrimental to towns, but perhaps it would bring in a bit of competition with Asda and actually bring people in to the area.
“Also, obviously, any jobs are much needed in Bradford and nationally at the moment,” Coun Ross-Shaw said.
Shipley councillor Hawarun Hussain said she was concerned by the possible harmful impact on Shipley’s struggling traders.
“It would be just another national chain and do we need any more?
“Nowhere do supermarkets arrive and improve local businesses and this could kill off the private-run shops that remain in Shipley,” said Coun Hussain (Green).
“I am not elitist, but perhaps if we were to get something different, like a Waitrose, which appealed to a different customer base then it would be complimentary to what we already have,” she said.
LibDem Councillor Tracey Leeming (Bolton and Undercliffe) said her main concern was any impact on local traffic.
She said: “This would be on a major route and I hope those making the decision would take a very long, hard look at that. Of course any new jobs would be a positive thing, but my biggest issue is the impact on our highways.”
Shipley Area Committee chairman David Heseltine (Con, Bingley) said he did not believe any customers of a supermarket on that site would make the walk to town centre shops.
“Realistically, nobody is going to walk from there to Shipley town centre. These sort of supermarkets tend to draw people away from centres rather than bring them into it.
“So the caveat of extra jobs has to be taken with the possible loss of jobs in other shops.”