News that the long-awaited Sainsbury’s store planned for Bingley will not now get under way until at least next year has understandably been greeted with disappointment in the town.
The development planned for the former Bradford and Bingley site was expected to create up to 250 jobs, giving a much-needed shot in the arm to the town’s economy.
The supermarket giant was given permission to build the store last December, and the initial hopeful anticipation had begun to be replaced by anxiety over the last few weeks, with councillors and business leaders pressing for a start date.
It is frustrating in the extreme for the town that Sainsbury’s has now said it will not start work on the store until next year at the earliest – and has not put any firm start date on the development. As well as giving a boost to the town’s economy by creating work, hopes were high the store would encourage more footfall into the centre of Bingley.
And when it finally happens, it will also see the end of a building that has become a derelict eyesore for the town. So it is vital that Sainsbury’s is encouraged to push forward with this development as soon as possible.
The last thing Bingley needs is for the old building society headquarters to be allowed to continue to decay and deteriorate while waiting for the store to be started.
Obviously, it is in the hands of Sainsbury’s now, and the company has at least reiterated its commitment to the site, even if work is not going to start as soon as people hoped.
But Bradford Council must keep up the pressure to ensure this development goes ahead as soon as the company is able to do it and does not drift any further.
We have seen all too clearly the results of developers’ delays when it comes to shopping schemes in other parts of the district.