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Monday, 15 July 2013

Brown's site: Questions raised over new Retail Assessment which backs proposed supermarket

The long-awaited retail impact assessment for the Mythom Works application, requested by Calderdale Planning committee in December, was uploaded to Calderdale's website at the end of last week.

Click here to see a list of all documents associated with the application - the Retail Assessment document is at the bottom. The assessment was carried out by WYG Planning and Environment on behalf of site developers, Belmont Homes.

Their conclusion is that not only will Hebden Bridge's vitality and viability not suffer as a result of the development of a supermarket on Brown's site, but that it will benefit.

When Calderdale's Planning Committee was trying to decide the merits of the planning application for this site, it was this important information the committee decided it needed.

The conclusions include the following.

6.03 The foodstore, with its gross floorspace of 2,150 square metres and net sales area of 1,021 square metres, is intended to operate as a main or weekly shopping destination to cater for the bulk food shopping requirements of residents living in and around Hebden Bridge. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that whilst Hebden Bridge is a vital and viable town centre, which benefits from a generous supply of small, independent specialist shops, a high proportion of service providers, a wide catchment area (which includes tourist trade) and high environmental quality, its main food convenience goods provision is lacking (and thus leading to problems of leakage of expenditure).

6.04 Whilst the application site occupies an out-of-centre location, in view of the physically constrained nature of the town centre, it has been reaffirmed that the site represents the closest opportunity to deliver the benefits of new foodstore provision (with other assessed sites/premises, which at any rate are limited in number, confirmed to be unsuitable and unavailable).

On the EnergyRoyd website, there is a detailed reponse to this Retail Assessment and the point is made that no supermarket is associated with the development. This strengthen's Incredible Edible Mytholm’s view that "the planning application is purely speculative – an attempt by the site owners to drive up the price of the Mytholm Works site."

The EnergyRoyd piece points out that "They didn’t ask Hebden Bridge retailers for their assessment of how an edge-of-town supermarket would be likely to affect their trade – and, through knock on effects – their local suppliers’ businesses."

"WGY have simply done a desk job, based on a computer modelling exercise."

Documents associated with this Application

EnergyRoyd response

HebWeb News: Brown's site: Planners recommend refusal of Supermarket and Hotel plans

HebWeb Forum - discussion from July 2012

HebWeb Forum - discussion from March to May2012