OPPONENTS of a new Sainsbury's store in Saltaire have fought back with their own survey after the supermarket said its research showed support for the scheme.

Saltaire Village Society has carried out an online survey regarding plans for a Local store on the site of a hand car wash in Bingley Road, which chairman Vanessa Pilny said found complete opposite results to Sainsbury's.

But the supermarket company said the Society's internet-based questionnaire was likely to attract respondents who already had strong views on the proposal, while its research was random.

"Saltaire Village Society recently launched an online survey to gauge the opinion of some of its members and other interested parties - so far 150 people have completed the 21 questions. Overall 61.3 per cent opposed the application, 25.3 per cent supported it and 13.3 per cent were neutral," Miss Pilny said.

"The view looking up Victoria Road is rated as being of critical significance to the World Heritage Site," she said.

"Most people - 66.9 per cent - rated the current view of the car wash as unattractive, but 53 per cent rated the proposed new view as still unattractive."

Miss Pilny added that 71.2 per cent felt that the design was either unacceptable or could be improved, with many preferring a building using traditional materials more in keeping with the area.

She said the survey also showed overwhelming support for local shopkeepers.

She also noted that Bradford Council's planning website had 340 objections logged versus ten support comments.

"The level of community feeling will hopefully be taken into account by the planning panel," Miss Pilny said.

"The Village Society is not against all development, but is concerned about the impact of this proposed new store at the edge of the World Heritage Area on safety, traffic, independent shops and heritage."

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "Sainsbury's believes it is important for people to have their say on our plans for a new local store on Bingley Road in Saltaire.

"That is why we surveyed over 100 randomly selected people in Saltaire, and over two thirds of those we spoke to supported our plans.

"Saltaire Village Society’s survey is quite different to the one undertaken by Sainsbury’s - it is internet based and is likely to have attracted people who already had strong views on our proposals.

"When we surveyed people many said they would welcome the 25 new jobs, increased shopping choice and regeneration benefits that a new Sainsbury’s Local would bring to Saltaire.

"We are continuing to work closely with Bradford Council to make sure our proposals are both acceptable in planning terms and complement the local area."