A PUBLIC inquiry gets underway tomorrow to decide the fate of Tesco in Holmfirth.
Planning inspector John Gray will consider Tesco’s appeal to Kirklees Council’s refusal on policy grounds.
He will hear arguments for and against during the inquiry which starts tomorrow and is due to end on July 11.
Tesco was refused planning consent by the Huddersfield Planning Committee last July for a store at the former Midlothian Garage, New Mill Road, Holmfirth.
The plan caused division among residents in Holmfirth and further afield.
Campaign groups including the Holme Valley Voices and Keep Holmfirth Special launched campaigns for and against Tesco’s plans.
Parish and Kirklees councillors have had their say and the council leader voiced his support for council officers in the planning department, who will have to put the council’s case for rejection to the inspector.
Documents submitted show Nick Willock, development management case officer for the application, will put Kirklees Council’s case.
He will argue the sequential test indicates there is a preferred site – in Honley .
That is where Morrisons are looking to open a new store, with a planning application not due to be submitted until September or October this year.
Also submitting evidence in opposition to Tesco is Peter Blair, a expert witness in highways who has been instructed by the Co-operative Estates.
He will focus on highways and sustainable accessibility aspects of the proposed foodstore.
Mr Blair will argue, among other issues, that as the site will not be accessible to any material extent on foot it should be rejected.
His statement to the inspector says “The site is located too far from the town centre... to permit linked trips with the town centre to be made at any realistic level.”
Morrisons have also put their case to the inspector, and they have questioned if a Tesco store will result in any linked trips into Holmfirth.
David Heap, for Tesco, will highlight the flood risk potential to a proposed retail development site off the A616 in Honley – the preferred site for the sequential test.
Tesco has also engaged its own highways expert, who will argue: “The mitigation measures are appropriate for a development of this scale and type and the traffic calming scheme would deliver improved safety on the network.
“In my opinion, the development offers substantial benefits in terms of sustainability objectives and there are no highways or transportation matters that cannot be dealt with by way of conditions or through the S106 agreement.”
The Examiner will be providing full coverage in the paper, an up-to-date live web long online at www.examiner.co.uk and on twitter at @JoannePolitics.