TESCO has said residents in Barnoldswick are in support of plans to bring a superstore to the town but the Chamber of Trade has vowed to oppose them.
Around 350 people attended a two-day exhibition where proposals by Liberty Properties to build a new Tesco store on part of the L&P Springs site in Wellhouse Road were presented to the public for the first time.
The retail giant said, if given the green light, the supermarket would create 175 new jobs, with the investment from the development helping to secure the long-term future of 36 jobs at L&P Springs.
Residents were invited to leave their comments on the plans, with 74% in favour of the new store.
Just 15% said they were opposed to the plans while the remaining 11% said they were still to make up their minds. Matthew Magee, Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, said: “We thank everyone who attended the public exhibition and provided us with feedback. We’ve seen a huge amount of support from people who want to do their shopping in Barnoldswick, but currently have to travel out of town. Our store will help keep people shopping in Barnoldswick.”
Emyr Williams, Development Director at Liberty Properties, said: “We have seen the majority of people would like to see a supermarket development that would support the community. Clearly, a lot of people are leaving Barnoldswick to do their main food shop and this will ensure a lot of people remain in the town. We will continue to engage with traders to look at possible options for promoting Barnoldswick’s fantastic town centre alongside the proposed new Tesco. It is very important we produce proposals that benefit the whole of Barnoldswick.”
However, the town’s Chamber of Trade agreed at a special meeting to oppose the plans. A statement from the group said: “The Chamber is deeply concerned the proposed development will have very serious consequences for the independent retailers of Barnoldswick.
“The town is quite unique with the vast majority of businesses being independent and family owned and they have been built up over many years. It is felt very many of these businesses will be forced to close, thus ripping the heart and soul out of the local community.”
Liberty Properties plans to submit a planning application for the development to Pendle Council later in the summer.