AFTER ten years a supermarket for Elland has finally been approved.

Morrisons have been given backing by the Secretary of State, ending a decade-long fight by residents to get a prominent superstore in the town.

Calderdale councillors were minded to approve the plans in May after a public planning meeting attended by hundreds of residents. But it had to be referred to the Secretary of State for determination. He decided not to call it in and backed the councillors' decision.

It will be built on land bounded by the Elland-Riorges link and Wistons Lane. Morrisons will build on the site of the NuSwift Factory and construct a food store and petrol station on land at Wistons Lane. The supermarket giant promised to help NuSwift relocate, securing the 70 jobs.

The news was welcomed by Gillian Pearson, Chair of Morrison’s Supporter Group, who joined hundreds of neighbours in supporting the plan.

She said: "Following on from the planning meeting the application was referred to the Secretary to State, however we have now received notification that he is not going to call it in for his determination, therefore sending it back to Calderdale to complete.

"As a supporters group, we are overjoyed at this decision, although not quite celebrating just yet.

"It should now be a maximum of 12 weeks in order to sort the final details out before we can really celebrate this success.

"The group would however, like to thank the general public for their backing and support on this local initiative and feel that this channelled effort of all, has made the difference and changed the course of history of this 10 years supermarket saga in Elland."

In May almost 500 residents packed the Shay Stadium for the planning committee to hear rival bids by Morrisons and Asda, who both want to build in Elland.

Calderdale councillors were unanimously minded to permit the Morrisons development, much to the delight of the cheering crowd.

The Asda application was deferred at the request of the company, which submitted last-minute alterations to their highways plans for the site off Dewsbury Road. It is the third application by Asda for Elland. Previous attempts were thwarted in 2001 and 2007.