Store wars application in Silsden

6:00pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

By David Knights

Vital information is still unknown regarding plans for a Tesco store in Silsden, a ward councillor claims.

Adrian Naylor is demanding extra assessments are carried out before planners decide whether to approve the supermarket scheme.

Fellow town councillor Chris Atkinson has expressed concern about Tesco’s plans to build on much-needed industrial land.

The politicians spoke after a planning application was submitted to Bradford Council for the development.

The plans, submitted by development company Silvermantle, involve a 2,709 square metre store, 173-space car park and a petrol station.

The company proposes to give unused land to Silsden’s football club, which has its ground alongside.

Tesco is one of two companies planning to build supermarkets in Silsden, with Aldi’s bid for a smaller store approved by Bradford planners last month.

Councillors welcomed the Aldi project because it would give income to manufacturing firm Habasit, which owns the land, securing up to 80 jobs.

The proposed Tesco development is on the other side of Keighley Road, on the 2.9-hectare site of the now-demolished Becks Mill and adjacent, vacant Riverside Works.

The development’s planning and retail statement claims the supermarket would be in competition with large food stores in Keighley, Ilkley and Skipton rather than shops in Silsden town centre.

Coun Naylor, a town and district councillor, said Bradford Council needed to carry out a retail impact study showing how Silsden companies could be affected by the arrival of Tesco.

“A Tesco of that size could have a pharmacy, and we already have three in Silsden,” he said. “There is also impact on newsagents and the existing petrol station.

“We are also waiting for a new transport study, taking into account entry and access.

“As we get more information we can come to a conclusion about the plans.”

Silsden Town Council chairman, Coun Atkinson, said the Becks Mill site was currently not zoned for retail development.

He added: “When it was a mill, it employed 1,000 people. It won’t even have 200 with a supermarket. It’s the last industrial area in Silsden. Do people want work or not?”

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