CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop Tesco building a store outside Holmfirth have launched a new offensive.
They believe changes to planning regulations announced in the March Budget may threaten Tesco’s plans for the new store in New Mill Road.
The new legislation, which will create a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, has been welcomed by local group Keep Holmfirth Special (KHS).
They believe comments made by Greg Clark, the Minister for Decentralisation and Planning, strengthen their argument that the development on the former Midlothian Garage site would harm the centre of Holmfirth – a reason for the plan to be rejected.
Mr Clark said: “If there are reasons, for example, if it destroys the environment, if it builds on the green belt, if it builds outside a town centre … when you want to keep town centres thriving, then that would not be sustainable, it would not be in the public interest and so it should not go ahead.”
KHS has repeatedly called on Tesco to withdraw its application for the Midlothian site and consider a smaller development in the town centre.
Tesco has conceded that the proposed supermarket would suck nearly £3.6m business out of the town centre, affecting local employment.
Wooldale Co-op worries that it would be forced to close its three village stores with a loss of around 40 jobs and there are fears of damage to the £300m generated annually by the tourist trade, which in turn would have an effect on the wider economy of the Holme Valley and Kirklees.