SUPERMARKET bosses are set to face tough questions from trade leaders about the future of the former Bradford & Bingley headquarters.
Bingley Chamber of Trade & Commerce has sent a list of queries to Sainsbury's ahead of a public meeting later this week.
In response to a call from Bingley MP Philip Davies, the company is sending a team of executives to explain its policy on the controversial Main Street building, which it owns and is viewed as a blot on the town.
And business leaders have written an open letter to the supermarket giant to try and get clear and definitive answers as to exactly what is planned for the site, which was previously earmarked as a supermarket before the company did a U-turn.
Sainsbury's announced plans in 2011 to turn the former building society site into a 12,000 sq ft shopping space with two levels of underground parking, a cafe and an Explore Learning Centre. But the plans were shelved last year and the unused building is to be pulled down.
Chamber member Richard Holmes said: "Whilst we welcome the announcement that demolition work is finally to begin we are much more concerned that the land is brought back into use for the benefit of the town at the earliest possible opportunity."
Mr Holmes added: “The public meeting presents us with the first real opportunity to ask Sainsbury’s to provide clear and precise answers to questions that the town's businesses have asked.”
The Chamber's president Howard Martin said it was anxious that the forthcoming meeting did not merely turn into a PR campaign for the new mini supermarket that Sainsbury’s is opening on Main Street early next year.
"Revitalising the town centre by means of developing this prime piece of real estate remains the number one objective for the town as a whole," he said.
"Whilst there are many within the town who feel that Sainsbury’s actions over the last few years have not been in the best interests of Bingley we have to recognise that the planned opening of their mini supermarket goes some way to redressing the balance and is a step in the right direction, but the development of the old B&B building is the number one concern.
"It is about time that someone asks the right questions."
A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: "We have yet to receive the letter that we understand the Bingley Chamber of Trade & Commerce have sent us but when we do we will ensure that they receive a full and comprehensive response. We are looking forward to Thursday’s public meeting and the opportunity to discuss the future of the site."
The meeting is at All Saints Church at 7pm on Thursday.