THE FEARED closure of one of Keighley’s supermarkets could affect the viability of the town’s planned retail park, warns a councillor.

Cllr Adrian Naylor says thousands of square feet of retail space would fall empty if the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s forced the closure of one of their Keighley stores.

He believes this vacant space could be filled by store chains who would otherwise sign up for the proposed Aire Valley Retail Park in nearby East Parade.

The previous project planned for the East Parade site, the Worth Valley Shopping Centre, was scrapped after developers failed to attract enough high-profile tenants to make construction viable.

Cllr Naylor said: “If you get rid of Keighley’s Asda or Sainsbury’s store, then there’s £30,000 of retail space across the road from the East Parade site. What does that do to the prospects of the project?

“There’s no other major supermarket player to take on space like that – Tesco is divesting itself of big stores and Aldi and Lidl don’t usually have such big stores.”

Cllr Naylor suggested the only company likely to take on such vacant space would be high-street brands known for having stores in retail parks.

Agents for the Aire Valley Retail Park project were unavailable for comment this week.

MajorDevelopers The U+I group bought the derelict East Parade site in 2016 after previous owners scrapped their £30 million Worth Valley Shopping Centre project.