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It's store wars as developers go head to head in Shipley
8:00am Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
Two rival developers will compete against each other to build Shipley’s second supermarket in the coming months.
Yesterday shoppers were shown designs for a supermarket on the Otley Road/Valley Road junction, currently the Crossley Evans Scrapyard, that developers GMI holdings say will regenerate the town centre.
The developer plans to submit a planning application to Bradford Council next month. It will be the second application for similar sized superstores in the town – Commercial Development Projects submitted plans for a site on Airedale Mills, Salts Road, last month.
Both sites are just a few minutes’ walk away from the town’s existing supermarket, Asda.
At the public exhibition, held yesterday at Shipley Library, visitors were told that parts of the development would be just 25 metres from the main town centre.
James Spearman, from GMI Holdings, said: “We are as close as possible so we can support the town centre.”
The site is also near the proposed route of the Shipley Relief Road, but when asked if the location was chosen because of this, director Chris Gilman said: “The honest view we have got from the Council is that this is not going to happen anytime soon. There are limited funds available and a lot of projects vying for the money.”
He also doesn’t believe Shipley will end up with three supermarkets due to the duelling of applications, saying: “There is only a demand for one of these supermarkets. We think the Council will decide on both applications at the same time.”
Neither application has had a chain put its name to it yet, and this is likely to be the case until either application is approved.
Shipley resident Sharon Flitcroft, 36, attended the exhibition and said: “I think it would be good to get some more choice into Shipley. It is only Asda unless you want to go to Gilstead or Bradford.
“I can’t see how it will regenerate Shipley. I don’t think people will come to the town centre after they do their shopping.”
A Shipley pensioner, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “The landscape will be improved, I think the scrap metal yard should be moved, provided there is space for it. But I don’t think it can revive the town centre in the current financial climate.”
For the Crossley Evans site to become a supermarket, the business would have to move. Based there since the First World War, managing director Matthew Evans has already expressed concern over being forced to re-locate.
The site is owned by Network Rail and DB Schenker, with the scrap company as a tenant. A spokesman for Network Rail said there were high level talks going on between the companies, with a spokesman for DB Shenker adding: “Situations like this have happened in the past where we have re-located tenants. This is very much in the early stages, and there is an awful lot to be talked about.”