Demolition work is already underway on the Oakes site where supermarket giants Lidl are looking at building a new multi-million pound store.
Oakes Mills on New Hey Road, has been targeted by developers and if the development goes ahead it would provide major competition for the town’s many supermarkets particularly the nearby Sainsbury’s stores at Salendine Nook and Lindley as well as the Co-op in Marsh.
Amanda Holmes, communications director of Sheffield-based Dransfield Properties Ltd, said: “We own a 0.8 acre site on New Hey Road which would be suitable for a number of possible development options.
“We have only been marketing the site for a few weeks and though we have received a good level of enquiries we have no firm plans to announce at this time.”
A Lidl spokesman gave a clear hint of the company’s plans when he said: “We are in the process of exploring various options to bring a Lidl store to Huddersfield and look forward to sharing any firm plans with the community as soon as we’re in a position to do so.”
Kirklees councillor Cahal Burke, (Lindley, Lib Dem), said: “I welcome the potential investment in our area which will create much needed employment during the construction stage and when the supermarket opens. I would have serious concerns about a housing application so I am pleased that is not proposed.
“A new supermarket will provide choice for residents. However, I do have concerns for some of our smaller traders in the area and if they will be able to compete.
“I and fellow Kirklees councillor, Richard Eastwood, (Lib Dem, Lindley), are listening to residents and local business owners and taking their views into account. We will represent our residents accordingly.
“As part of the pre-application process I hope the applicant will carry out a community consultation exercise.
“When, and if, a planning application is submitted, residents will be consulted and will be able to comment formally on the proposals.”
Not everyone is pleased at the proposed scheme.
Surinder Singh, who owns the Londis convenience store on New Hey Road, and situated directly opposite Oakes Mill, said he feared he would be wiped out if it went ahead.
He told the Examiner earlier this month when we broke the story: “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.”