Silsden’s mayor has heavily criticised a second supermarket bid for the town.
Two weeks ago, Tesco announced plans to build a 20,000 sq ft store in Keighley Road, next to Silsden AFC and close to the proposed site of a new Aldi store.
A consultation event was held last week in Silsden ahead of an application being submitted to Bradford Council later this year.
Mayor, Councillor Chris Atkinson, said the consultation had little detail, and appeared to involve a direct contrast between Tesco and Aldi and what they could offer.
“I think they were just fishing – they were very detrimental about Aldi, but the feeling I got from people there was Tesco would decimate the town,” he added.
Meanwhile, Aldi’s scheme, made in conjunction with Silsden conveyor and transmissions manufacturer, Habasit, would involve a 1,535 sq m store – about three quarters of the size of the planned Tesco – on land next to Habasit’s existing Keighley Road premises.
Habasit hopes to use the money from the sale of the land to modernise its factory and allow it to remain competitive, safeguarding the 80 jobs at the plant.
An application has been submitted to Bradford Council and is due to be decided by its regulatory and appeals committee, at a date to be fixed, a council spokesman this week confirmed.
Coun Atkinson said he had asked for a letter to be written to Bradford Council from Silsden Town Council urging planners to get on with the Aldi application and deal with it as soon as possible.
“An Aldi store would complement what we’ve already got in Silsden, and it would safeguard the 80 jobs we already have at Habasit,” he added.
“I’ve asked the clerk to write to Bradford asking them to deal with the Aldi application as soon as possible. It seems just because someone has said Tesco, everyone has panicked.”
Ward councillor, Adrian Naylor, agreed the consultation event – held by planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) – had thrown up few additional details, other than the distributed leaflet.
“When I asked about the entry and exit to the site, I was told a traffic survey had not been done yet, and that it would form part of the application itself,” he said.
“There were no detailed plans whatsoever, and the indication I got was it would be several months before an application was submitted.”
NLP said it was not in a position to comment further at this stage.