25pc of town opposes superstore plan

Robert Sutcliffe

AROUND a quarter of Todmorden’s population – 3,450 people – has signed a petition against proposals by Sainsbury’s to build a supermarket in Halifax Road as they fear it will “destroy” the town.

Residents are backing the campaign over fears another supermarket in Todmorden will have a detrimental effect on the market and businesses.

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News of the proposals has come as a particular shock to residents given that Netto also wants to build a supermarket.

Calderdale councillor Ian Cooper is so determined to fight Sainsbury’s plans he has resigned his position on the planning committee so he can speak his mind.

He said: “Quite frankly with Sainsbury’s it is a supermarket too far – I know they say they will create 150 jobs but I can’t accept the suggestion that these will be additional jobs. I can’t see the town sustaining that level of business.

“To attempt to introduce yet another supermarket on top of the Netto proposal would be suicidal for a market town. The heart of Todmorden is its market and this Sainsbury’s proposal would effectively destroy it as a market town.”

Jean Hartley, from the Stop The Supermarket campaign, said: “It will utterly destroy our town. It will take the footfall away from the market.”

Campaigners presented the petition to representatives from Sainsbury’s at a public exhibition of the plans in Todmorden Town Hall.

Kevin MacMillan, regional development executive for Sainsbury’s, said a lot of local people were travelling out of Todmorden to shop and keeping them in the town would actually help local traders.