Tesco loses battle for store in tourist town

A LONG-RUNNING and bitter row over plans for a Tesco store in a Yorkshire town have ended in defeat for the supermarket giant.

Tesco wanted to build a store at the former Midlothian Garage site at New Mill Road, about a mile from the centre of Holmfirth, which is popular with tourists.

The scheme triggered mixed reactions from local people and was rejected last year by a Kirklees Council planning committee.

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Tesco has now lost an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate after an inspector ruled that additional traffic generated by a store would worsen an already inadequate highways network.

Kirklees Council welcomed the rejection as did Margaret Dale, of Keep Holmfirth Special, which campaigned against the scheme.

She said the site was the wrong place for a supermarket and said Tesco should have listened to local concerns back in 2009.

“The challenge now is to move on and concentrate on finding a more appropriate use for the site.

“Another challenge is to find more ways of working together to develop and strengthen local businesses and shops so that we are in a good position to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by next year’s Tour de France.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Whilst we try to be supportive of development, in this instance the council was always concerned that a supermarket in this location would cause localised highway problems and delays that were too great.”

She said local roads reflected the topography “and solutions to particular issues are not easy to deliver”.