IT resembled a ‘ghost town’.
Traders and businesses boarded up their windows to show what Holmfirth could look like if a Tesco was to be built a kilometre out of town.
The supermarket giant hopes to build a new supermarket on the site of the former Midlothian Garage at New Mill Road.
On Saturday, traders including Longley’s, Imagine and KW Kaye Ironmongers covered their windows with brown cardboard in protest at the application.
Caroline Anstey, owner of the toy shop Imagine, said: “There is an application for Tesco to build a large supermarket out of town about a kilometre from Holmfirth.
“We have seen this happen in a lot of other towns.
“It is basically sucking all the life blood out of the town and we just end up with a town full of closed shops.
“We are not against supermarkets and we are not against Tesco, but we are very much against the application and the location of it.
“Like Mary Portas (‘Queen of Shops’ and Government advisor on retail) said, shops need to be in towns. We don’t want the out-of-town shop to draw people out of the centre.
“This is not a protest but a demonstration of what could happen to our town if Tesco is built on that site.”
Jimmy Dickinson of Longley’s said: “This is not a David versus Goliath fight of the little people against the multinational.
“The traders of Holmfirth would welcome Tesco if the application is appropriate.
“They are desperate for something to revitalise Holmfirth.
“It is a proven fact that development in the centre can rejuvenate a town whereas drawing people out has the opposite effect.
“Over Christmas I spent time reading the 1,000-plus page planning application and there are some things in it that do not quite add up.
“Tesco have said that the Co-op and the shops in Holmfirth are too busy, beyond the national trading average.
“They have claimed that 25% of the Co-op’s customers should go elsewhere in order to keep it a pleasant shopping experience.
“In the meeting about the development last week, a gentleman stood up who said that he represented another supermarket who were hoping to develop on the other available site on Woodhead Road, Honley.
“If this is the case, we need to be presented with the information so that we don’t end up with more than one supermarket.
“In my view, Tesco in Penistone was an example of appropriate development, the proposed plans in Holmfirth are not appropriate.”
Kirklees Council extended the deadline for the application decision until the end of March.
The Holmfirth shops remained open as usual during their protest.