PROPOSALS for a new supermarket in Mirfield have split opinion among the town's residents.
Developer St James Securities is targeting the former Britannia Mills site for an as-yet-unnamed retailer.
Representatives of the Leeds-based firm outlined the basics of their scheme to town councillors at a stormy meeting on Tuesday.
The new supermarket, on the corner of Lowlands Road and Station Road, could bring 200 jobs and have an on-site petrol station.
Mirfield already has two Co-op stores, a Tesco and a Lidl, leading to claims that the unnamed retailer could potentially be Asda or Sainsbury's.
Residents took to social media after a letter was distributed to nearby homes and businesses from PR firm Sharpe Communications, who are acting for St James Securities.
This stated that two public meetings, one for businesses and another for the public, are to be held next month.
Traders can give their views at the town council offices from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday June 5.
A presentation for residents is being held at the Trinity Methodist Church community rooms from 11.30am to 7.30pm on Friday June 6.
Campaign groups Save Mirfield and Project Mirfield savaged the proposal at Tuesday's town council meeting.
Debate raged too on the MyMirfield Facebook page, with some locals liking the idea of having a petrol station.
But Linda Jackson wrote: "Have I got this right ... is this where it floods and shuts Station Road under the railway bridge??"
Keeley Crowther added: "The Co-op and Lidl are within 100 yards and both are sufficiently stocked to enable a full shop.
"Plus there's Tesco Express, a butchers and greengrocers further up. Is this application serious?"
Carl Wilkinson, who works at Fox Biscuits in Batley, said: "I personally welcome it. I can't do a full shop in Mirfield..."
Town and Kirklees councillor Kath Taylor said she can see arguments both for and against the plan.
She said: "The developer said a survey shows 80 per cent of people in Mirfield do their main shop somewhere else.
"That's probably true, and I'm all for doing what we can to keep as much trade in Mirfield as possible.
"It's also a brownfield site, and how often do developers want those? Usually they want to concrete over our green spaces."
But she highlighted concerns over traffic, flooding and the proximity to three other town centre supermarkets.
Coun Taylor also had a pop at the announcement's timing, adding councillors did not know about the scheme until seeing the letter.
She said: "They couldn't have hit us with this at a worse time given that it's election week."
A statement from St James Securities claimed the development will create 200 jobs, will sell clothes and also feature a collection point for online orders.
Paul Morris, a director at the company, added: “We are delighted to launch our plans for a new supermarket for Mirfield.
"As well as bringing a vacant site back to positive use, our proposal will offer residents more choice and competition for their weekly shop.
"There is currently limited opportunity to do a full weekly shop in Mirfield, meaning people travel further afield to supermarkets in other towns."
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