A massive development which would see a Lidl supermarket being built in Oakes is being discussed by Kirklees planners the Examiner can exclusively reveal.
Oakes Mills West on New Hey Road, has been targeted by developers.
The proposed development comes more than four years after the Examiner revealed that residents on nearby Mountbatten Gardens had been left shocked after Wilson Estates Ltd, a firm of chartered surveyors, wrote letters on behalf of Barnsley-based Dransfield Properties, which specialises in retail-led regeneration schemes, asking if they wished to sell their homes.
Nothing came of that particular scheme but given that the huge mill complex is only partially used and already has an industrial background it is not entirely surprising that commercial developers have viewed it as a good site for a supermarket.
The ‘hush-hush’ proposed development would cost millions of pounds to build and is at a very sensitive stage. If it goes ahead it would provide competition for the town’s many supermarkets including the Sainsbury’s at Salendine Nook and Lindley as well as the Co-op in Marsh.
One resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: “I’m all for it. The mill would have to be demolished which is a shame but all good things come to an end and this development would be of great benefit to the community.
“It would create dozens of jobs during the construction period as well as a number of jobs if and when it opens.
“This is the kind of thing people want. It’s a big scheme with plenty of parking.”
Not everyone is pleased at the proposed scheme, however. Surinder Singh, who owns the Londis convenience store on New Hey Road, said he feared he would be wiped out if it went ahead.
He said: “I came here 32 years ago in 1985 and have worked hard to build this business up. I would lose my business if this went ahead so I am not in favour.”