MP's plain speaking could speed up construction of Bingley supermarket (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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MP's plain speaking could speed up construction of Bingley supermarket
8:42pm Friday 11th July 2014 in News
THE Government is to speed up the arrival of a new Aldi superstore in Bingley after some plain talking in the House of Commons by the town's MP Philip Davies.
Progress at the old Lilycroft Mills site has been delayed pending the vital transfer of land from the Highways Agency.
But after a no-nonsense request from Mr Davies, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said he would speak to Highways Agency bosses to remove any hurdles as swiftly as possible.
Speaking in the Commons, Shipley MP Philip Davies said there was widespread support, but delays were preventing work from beginning.
He said: “Aldi are ready to go with a development of a new supermarket in Bingley which commands great public support.
"In order for it to go ahead it needs a land transfer from the Highways Agency via Bradford Council.
“Can the minister make sure the Highways Agency pull their finger out as soon as possible to make this happen so this essential regeneration in Bingley can take place?"
German-owned Aldi chain wants to build on the old Lilycroft Mills site at Midland Hill which will also create up to 25 jobs.
Mr Goodwill said: “In my experience the Highways Agency are very good at pulling their finger out when ministers raise issues with them so I will raise this one with them myself.”
Mr Davies said he had asked the blunt question after Bingley ward councillor and fellow Conservative David Heseltine raised the issue earlier this week.
"I thought things were dragging on a bit so I thought let's bite the bullet and ask them to hurry up," Cllr Heseltine said.
"And when Mr Davies said he'd ask a question about it, I thought that's brilliant."
Retail giant Aldi also thanked Mr Davies for his commitment to improving Bingley.
“We are very grateful for the continued support Mr Davies has shown for our plans for a new store in Bingley and for bringing this matter to the attention of the Transport Minister, as well as the high level of support we have received from his constituents,” a spokesman said.
“This unexpected delay has, unfortunately, prevented us from progressing the plans as quickly as we had hoped, but we are committed to delivering a new food store for the residents of Bingley and regenerating this town centre site with a multi-million pound investment.
“We would like to take this opportunity to again thank the local community for all the support we have received to date.
"We will continue to work closely with Bradford City Council, Yorkshire Water and the Highways Agency to resolve the situation, and we hope to be able to provide a positive update in the coming weeks.”