PLANS by Tesco to demolish a former pub and turn it into a convenience store on one of the borough’s busiest roads were dramatically stopped in their tracks yesterday.
Planning officers had recommended granting permission for the proposed development on Halifax Road, near Ainley Top, where the Grey Horse pub has stood for many decades.
Tesco claimed the development would create up to 25 full and part-time jobs.
But critics were worried that if the plans were approved the store would have been open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm including Bank Holidays and according to one member of the planning sub-committee, that would mean “no respite” for local residents.
They were even more worried about the potential impact of the store on traffic congestion in the area.
Clr Nicola Turner said if the application was passed it would create “an absolute nightmare.”
And Clr Andrew Cooper said: “As a convenience store this is going to be really inconvenient.
“I don’t see people clamouring for a new convenience store. There’s no real need for this.
“It is situated near one of the busiest junctions in Kirklees. I think it would have been better if it had stayed as a pub.”
But Clr Molly Walton warned members that if applications were to be rejected it had to be done on clear planning grounds.
She said that although she had concerns over the scheme’s layout people had to be careful what they wished for.
She said: “There will be something else here; there could be something worse than Tesco.
“It’s not evil to want to make a profit.”
Members also pointed to the situation in Westbourne Road, Marsh, where a successful Tesco convenience store operates but which they claimed contributed to traffic and parking problems.
The application will now be brought back for the committee’s next meeting when officers will have worked up detailed reasons for the refusal.
Afterwards, two local councillors, Tony Brice and Cahal Burke, who were opposed to the plans, said they were pleased the committee had heeded their advice.