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HAVE YOUR SAY ON 'GREEN' STORE PLAN; Holmfirth Tesco plans on show.

Byline: DAVE HIMELFIELD

PLANS for a controversial supermarket in the Holme Valley go on show today.

Tesco, which has submitted a planning application for a specially designed new eco-format store in Holmfirth, is hosting a drop-in session to give residents the opportunity to ask any questions about the application.

The informal session, which will be in the function room of the Old Bridge Hotel in Holmfirth, runs all afternoon.

There have been many objections to the store plan, which is on the site formerly occupied by the Midlothian Garage in New Mill Road.

But Tesco corporate affairs manager, Jennifer Duncan, said: "We really believe that the majority of people in Holmfirth would like the convenience, choice and value offered by a new supermarket in the town.

"We've seen this in the letters pages of the newspaper, in the conversations we''ve had and even on internet pages.

"If the proposals are approved, we will bring greater shopping choice to the town, create over 350 new jobs and help to keep people shopping in the local area with all the associated benefits this brings.

"However, we also recognise that some people still have questions about the specifics of our application and we want to give them a chance to get answers directly from us before a decision on the application is made".

The retail giant has also released details of a survey it commissioned about the proposals.

Tesco submitted plans to Kirklees Council in June to build the new 7,500 sq m store will create 350 full and part-time jobs.

But businesses in Holmfirth fear a new supermarket will swallow up their trade.

A Tesco spokesman said: "Currently 80% of people leave Holmfirth to do their main food shopping. Our new store will mean more people shopping locally, which can only mean more shoppers for the other businesses in the area.

"We have conducted a robust and detailed public consultation in the town. We have met many local people, the majority of whom support Tesco's plans".

But Moz Collier, owner of Potters Den ceramic shop, Norridge Bottom, Holmfirth, has dismissed Tesco's claims as 'absolute rubbish'.

She said: "I think it will take business away from shops in Holmfirth.

"If we have a Tesco they will buy everything in Tesco.

"They want to open a store in Penistone and it's going to do exactly the same in Penistone.

"I don't think Tescos have the variety that local stores do.

"People in rural areas want to support rural businesses".

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SPECIFICS: Artist''s impression of proposed Tesco in New Mill Road
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 10, 2009
Words:428
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