A war of words has broken out as two supermarket giants go head-to-head to build in Silsden.
Both Aldi and Tesco are seeking to open stores on sites at Keighley Road in the town.
Now they have clashed over when their planning applications should be considered by Bradford Council.
Aldi’s proposals are due to go before the regulatory and appeals panel on March 13, and the company is adamant they still should, despite a last-minute objection.
Agents for the Tesco scheme, who are yet to submit an application, say both projects should be considered at the same time, and have asked the council to delay a decision on the Aldi bid.
Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) – agents for Silvermantle, owner of the former Becks Mill site where Tesco wants to build – said a survey of residents and businesses in Silsden revealed 60 per cent of the 616 respondents fully supported the need for improved foodstore facilities. And they claim almost two-thirds preferred Tesco over Aldi.
But Aldi, which claims its plans have generated more than 100 letters of support to the Council, said it was not surprised by Silvermantle’s request for a deferment.
A spokesman added: “We do have an expectation that officers will present members with sufficient information which, combined with the positive feedback received from the community, will give members the confidence to make an informed decision.
“Many residents who responded to our consultation have been quick to point out they would prefer our store to a larger Tesco supermarket. We believe our modestly-sized store would complement existing businesses and help to keep residents shopping locally.”
However, NLP senior associate director, Anthony Greally, said: “We really do urge Bradford Council to determine both the Aldi and Silvermantle applications at the same time.
“If the council feels it can only support one store, it is important it is the right one for Silsden, in terms of meeting people’s shopping needs in full and reducing the need to travel out of Silsden for main food shopping.”
Silvermantle is also proposing to hand over some of its land to the Silsden Community Sporting Facility, including all-weather pitches and an overspill car park.
A Council spokesman said it would be up to the committee to decide what decision to make regarding the applications.