Town Council fears new Lidl will draw customers…

Town Council fears new Lidl will draw customers out of town centre

SHIPLEY’S new Town Council believes that a new Lidl could draw shoppers out of the town centre.

Plans for a Lidl and drive thru Costa Coffee on Otley Road were submitted to Bradford Council last month.

The development would take place on Airedale Mills on Salts Mill Road and near the border between Shipley and Baildon.

The land was the former headquarters of Cardinal Limited, but the warehouses on the site have now been demolished.

Shipley Town Council, which formed in May, has now objected to the plans – writing to Bradford Council to raise concerns about the impact of the scheme on the town centre.

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When the plans were submitted, applicants Morbaine said: “In times of such uncertainty for us to have secured two quality operators in Lidl and Costa is great news for the community of Shipley and the future of the town.”

Although the site is only a short distance from the town centre, the store would require shoppers to cross a number of main roads – and the Council says this effectively makes it an out of town shopping development.

Their representation says: “The site of the former Airedale Mills is located beyond the edge of the established town centre of Shipley, which contains a largely pedestrianised retail centre catering for grocery shopping. The established town centre has excellent bus access, as well as convenient walking access from the canal towpath and the adjacent residential neighbourhoods.

“Walking from the established town centre to the former Airedale Mills site requires two major roads to be crossed (A657 Commercial Street and Salts Mills Road, both at their junctions with A6038 Otley Road).

“The introduction of an additional out-of-town supermarket and coffee shop is highly unlikely to support the established town centre economy. Shipley town centre requires intervention to support it as a retail destination. Footfall in the town centre needs to be increased.

“The location of the proposed Airedale Mills supermarket and coffee shop will, conversely, lead people away from established bus and pedestrian access, increasing car journeys and movements, to the detriment of sustainable travel options, which are better served in the town centre.”

Shipley Town Councillor Darren Parkinson said: “Shipley Town Council are keen to support the Town Centre and its businesses and any development that takes trade out of the town centre is not welcome.

“Shipley is already well served by supermarkets and another one seems unnecessary. Shipley Town centre needs support, not another supermarket that will take business out of the town.

“I am also concerned about the additional traffic that this scheme will create and its impact on the local community, on air pollution and on carbon emissions. Shipley already has illegal levels of air pollution and the extra traffic that the supermarket and drive through generates will only worsen this.”

A planning and retail statement included in the application says: “The impacts arising from the development would be limited and dispersed over a number of locations.

“The proposal would also help improve consumer choice in the area, bring back into active use a previously developed site, and support a greater number of jobs than the previous use of the site.”

A decision on the application is expected in October.