PLANS for a new supermarket in the World Heritage village of Saltaire have sparked stiff opposition.

Traders and ward councillors are already gearing up to fight the scheme for a Sainsbury's Local on Bingley Road.

A traders' leader said such a development would be a disaster.

Sainsbury's has written to people in Saltaire outlining its intention to open a convenience store on the site of a car wash. The company said it would submit a formal planning application to Bradford Council in the near future.

But the scheme has already stoked up worries about parking, late night noise and an impact on independent traders in the village.

Vanessa Pilny, chairman of Saltaire Village Society, said: "Saltaire simply does not need this. We already have lots of shops needing support and this would be a move in the wrong direction.

"The last thing we need is another store at the edge of the heritage area and at the top of Victoria Road. We need something beautiful there and a small Sainsbury's is not what we have in mind."

David Ford, chairman of Saltaire Traders and owner of Saltaire Bookshop, added: "I am absolutely opposed to this and I have spoken to others who would be affected and they feel the same.

"One of the great things about the village is the diversity of its independent shops, a factor missing in so many places and usually because a supermarket has moved in and destroyed the balance. This would detract from the unique charm of Saltaire and be a disaster."

Mr Ford said Sainsbury's claims that a new store would create around 20 new jobs was "not the case" and other jobs would inevitably go as small shops were hit.

"I understand they plan to have the store open up to 11pm and to sell alcohol, meaning issues of late night noise and parking problems," he added.

Ward councillor Kevin Warnes (Green) said many residents had contacted him to voice concerns.

"I share those concerns," he said. "This would simply exacerbate existing problems in a busy area."

Cllr Warnes said his main concern was the impact on the commercial viability of local traders.

"Whatever the recommendation of planning officers, I want this scheme to be considered by the planning panel itself so residents can have their say. That will be absolutely vital," he said.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: "We are working to develop plans for a new store on what is currently a former petrol filling station. We believe our proposals will benefit the area creating job opportunities and a convenient place to shop."

Sainsbury's said a new convenience store would create between 20 and 25 new jobs.

The company also pointed out that Locals - which typically trade between 7am and 11pm - support nominated charities every year and that, nationwide, Sainsbury's helped invest in sporting equipment for local groups and schools.