A new supermarket and petrol station in Mirfield could be worth a staggering £32 million a year to the town’s economy.

The claim was made by developers as a planning application was submitted to Kirklees Council.

Leeds-based St James Securities wants to build the new 20,000 sq ft store on the derelict Veolia Water industrial site in Station Road.

The identity of the store is not revealed on the application but is widely believed to be Asda.

Oliver Quarmby, managing director of St James Securities, said the food store would bring several benefits to Mirfield, not least 200 new jobs.

He said the store would “anchor” the town centre keeping trade in the local area.

Mr Quarmby said: “The council’s own figures show just 12.4% of Mirfield residents currently do their main weekly food shopping in the town.

 

“Our proposal will help claw back the £32 million trade lost from Mirfield each year and cut unnecessary car journeys to Dewsbury, Huddersfield and elsewhere.”

The plans were initially unveiled at a public consultation event last month.

Mirfield already has two small supermarkets within a few hundred yards of the proposed new store and concern has been expressed over traffic congestion.

The Co-op and Lidl are also accessed from Station Road and the main traffic light crossroads in the town centre.

Mirfield town councillor Andrew White, who runs Mick’s Fruit and Veg in the town, opposed the supermarket and couldn’t believe the £32 million figure.

“It seems to me like someone has just plucked a figure out of thin air,” he said.

Clr White said trade would be damaged in the town, the Co-op’s future could be put at risk and traffic would be a nightmare.

Mayor of Mirfield Clr Vivien Lees-Hamilton also questioned the £32 million but said there were positives and negatives.

“I can see both sides. The supermarket would give more choice and cheaper prices but could bring problems as well.

“We might gain jobs at one supermarket and lose them at another. It’s either going to be very good for Mirfield or very bad. We just won’t know which until it’s too late.”

Mirfield Tory councillor Kath Taylor said she thought the £32 million figure was “wishful thinking” and wanted the store to put something back into the town such as sponsoring the public toilets or the Christmas lights.

When the plans were first revealed at Mirfield Town Council, developers said the store would be “one of the big four.”

The Examiner asked Tesco, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Asda if they were behind the plans and only Asda declined to rule themselves out.

An Asda spokesman said they had no comment to make “at this time.”

Mr Quarmby thanked residents for their feedback from the consultation which he said would be analysed and considered. There may also be further public consultation.

The store, which will have an entrance and exit in Station Road just down from the junction with Lowlands Road, will have a petrol station and 190 parking spaces.

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