CAMPAIGNERS rallied opposition to a proposed Aldi supermarket in Slaithwaite .
They collected signatures for a petition in the village centre at the weekend and raised awareness of concerns they have with the plans.
They say the store would increase traffic congestion, put pedestrians and wildlife at risk and that it does not meet planning guidelines.
The German-based retailer is seeking consent to build the store on the site of Colne Mills, Britannia Road.
The company says it will create 30 full and part-time jobs and have 91 parking spaces for public use.
A group of campaigners, known as Keep Slaithwaite Special, are challenging Aldi’s plans to change the historic mill site into a 16,000sqft discount supermarket.
They’ve launched the Action Against Aldi campaign and say the store is too big for the village according to planning guidelines.
They are also against proposals by developer Dransfield, which represents Aldi, for speed bumps and road widening, saying the village’s roads cannot take an increased level of traffic activity, and it will lead to gridlocked streets and tailbacks on to Manchester Road.
Under the plans, shoppers would enter and exit via a turn between two shops.
Resident and campaigner Howard Walker says: “The entrance is very narrow. It’s too small for this kind of supermarket development and the sight lines are a real concern. It’s dangerous.
“Dransfield’s plans say one car in and one out every 45 seconds but that’s an understatement.
“This is the average over the whole period from 9am-10pm. At peak shopping times you can expect up to three times that number, or 240 vehicles an hour.
“That’s one vehicle movement across the pavement every 7.5 seconds. It’s an accident waiting to happen, to say nothing of the congestion.”
Architect Bill Best says there is evidence showing the plans do not meet Conservation Area rules.
He said: “Planning guidelines state design is expected to be of a high standard to ensure that the proposals both preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.
“They don’t, for lots of reasons, including the intrusion of a 90-space car park in the middle of such a sensitive and important site in a Conservation Area.
“Nowhere in the heritage statement can I find any justification that this either enhances or preserves the Conservation Area. Rather it puts it at risk.”
Concerns about the seven species of bats roosting, feeding and breeding in the mill area add to their objections.
Resident and campaigner Hannah Longbottom said: “Aldi is proposing to open until 10pm.
“Bats are affected by bright lights and will not live and feed next to a supermarket.
“If the mill is demolished and an Aldi supermarket built on the site, the bats will not return.”
They believe the village is catered for with the shops currently there and as Aldi has a supermarket three miles away in Milnsbridge there is no need for it.
Comments about the Aldi plans can be submitted to Kirklees Council until June 14.