Sainsbury’s deny it is involved as developer suggests store on Baildon car park (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Sainsbury’s deny it is involved as developer suggests store on Baildon car park
Businesses and councillors in Baildon have united in strong opposition to proposals to build a large convenience store on a car park in the centre of the village.
Traders claim the proposed convenience store on part of the Bradford Council-owned Ian Clough Hall car park may be “another nail in the coffin” for independent businesses in Baildon and would lead to an unacceptable loss of car parking.
Baildon councillors said they had been approached by Leeds-based Landmark Developments, which they said had expressed an interest in building a Sainsbury’s store on the car park, although a planning application had not been submitted and the chain last night denied all knowledge of the plan.
However, Councillor Val Townend said: “My ward colleagues and I are completely opposed to this proposal which is not needed in Baildon and which would be of detriment to the town centre. I can see why the proposal would appeal to both the developer and also the store but I can see little benefit to Baildon residents.”
Matthew Wildman, chairman of the Baildon Businesses Social Group said car parking was already very limited and any loss of space would prove an “extremely emotive issue” for traders.
The car park is also used for a monthly farmers’ market, launched last month by the parish council and Baildon Belles Women’s Institute.
Baildon Belles president Sara Mogford said: “I would be horrified if they were to build on the car park. It would be slightly ironic as it is would be on the site of the farmers’ market.
“We have put in so much hard work to get people to shop locally and buy local produce and Sainsbury’s are not exactly local. I really do think that everybody will be appalled by this.”
Peter Gaston, owner of Browgate Pharmacy, said: “The village is already congested and we are struggling for parking as it is. Also, the idea should be to encourage smaller businesses in the village to thrive. Another supermarket would be another nail in the coffin.”
Coun Townend said: “We already have enough retail outlets and a Sainsbury’s store at this location would compete with them whilst occupying a part of the car park which serves these existing shops.
“Whilst the Council have said to us that they have no active plans to sell the land, I find it hard to believe that the developer would invest the time and money required to work up their proposals to the stage that they have, without ascertaining that there was at least a possibility of it being available to them.”
Richard Morton, a director of Landmark Development Projects, said there had been “preliminary discussions” with Councillors but said any application or offer for the land was “a long way off”.