16/7/14 – Summer’s here, but we must remain ready for the committe date, when all-hands will be needed, both before and at the Town Hall in Halifax.

Our latest press release stirred-up the Hebden Bridge Times and we should feature soon. Here it is:

Press Release July 2014

Save Our Shops – Say No to Sainsbury’s

Update; Just as summer starts and we are all off on our holidays, Sainburys have finally submitted amendments to their planning application for the Old Fire Station site on Valley Road (Ref 13/01542/FUL) in Hebden Bridge. It has taken them more than 4 months to submit this information and now they are pushing for a speedy outcome.

Unforgivably, Sainsbury’s are refusing to do a Retail Impact Assessment, as requested by Calderdale Council; this would address the community’s concern over the increase in supermarket floor space within the town. This assessment is needed because the additional 450m2 of this store, added to the permission already granted for a 2,140m2  supermarket on the Browns site in Mytholm, means the town suddenly has 2,590sq.m extra retail space. A Retail impact assessment is required when there is over 2,500m2 .The whole floor area of the local Co-op is about 2,500m2. Can Hebden Bridge sustain this?

The concern is that this would cause our precious small shops – those that give the town its unique, vibrant quality, to struggle and then close.  There is a direct correspondence to the growth in supermarket activity and the decline of the British High streets. The BBC’s “Mary Queen Of Shops”, shopping expert Mary Portas, blamed supermarkets for “killing” Britain’s smaller shops and said “We’re sacrificing not just our greengrocers, our butchers and our bakers, but also our communities for convenience.” In a recent shop survey carried out by SOS Hebden Bridge, all of these local shop keepers we spoke to felt their businesses would be affected, as did most of those people asked. This is a real concern.

Added to this, Sainsburys have requested a devastating delivery routine. If the permission is granted we would be seeing an 11.2m long lorry delivering 7 times a day. The added problems a vehicle of this size would cause entering the town by the White Lion, turning over the bridge towards the town hall, where many pedestrians spill upon the street should not be underestimated. Turning up Valley road and parking opposite the colonnade of small shops. When exiting, it is proposed that 3 car parking spaces are lost on Regent Street to allow a turn back onto narrow Hangingroyd Lane, to leave the town again by the same route.

Watch this space for the date of the Committee Meeting where this will be discussed and decided. It will be on a Tuesday night at Calderdale Council in Halifax, but it has yet to be allocated a date. We hope you will come and support our campaign – SOS, Hebden Bridge.

Okestra Del Sol played a fantastic gig for us at the Trades on the 16th May, which was well attended and very much enjoyed by all… They really are quite brilliant, not just musically but also in their lively and witty stage extravaganza .
We launched the ‘Keep Hebden Funky’ campaign, which will be the ongoing educational scheme to make people more aware of how their shopping habits affect local businesses directly…. We will be looking to hold some open meeting for idea how this may happen in September.
We raised £????? After costs, so thank you to all that contributed. The money will be used towards the ongoing fight against the Sainsbury planning application and any future ‘Keep Funky’ projects.

Fund-raiser Gig featuring 

Orkestra del Sol  

at the Trades Club, Tuesday 13th May. 

Tickets are a total bargain at just £5, available via the Trades Club in person or from their website or (if we’ve got any left) on the door.  Doors open at 8pm and the Trades promise to keep the bar open until at least midnight – come along, dance your Socks off and help us raise funds for our campaign against the supermarkets, even though it’s a work day tomorrow…  More details when they arise…

Orkestra Del Sol

lastone31/3/14 – 537  Objections registered by deadline time – thanks for your efforts.  There were 542 comments altogether – 1 was neutral, 4 were in favour.  If we were living in a proper democracy there’d surely be no need to go further.  Unfortunately we still have to press our case in person to Calderdale’s Planning Committee at a date yet to be confirmed.   At this meeting we’ll need your support – its not just about this application – Sainsbury’s will undoubtedly re-apply for planning consent until they get it unless we show overwhelming opposition to their plan.  As soon as the date is announced we’ll let you know – keep checking back here, on Facebook – “Say NO to Sainsbury’s in Hebden Bridge” and on twitter  @SOSHebdenBridge or better still, sign up for updates on the panel to the left… we’ve got another battle to win yet…

SOSHB_int_town hall lores

12/2/14 – A day of ups and… well, actually mainly ups.  Half the core group went to Halifax to witness and hopefully influence the deliberations of the Alcohol licensing committee (this is us in the imposing Halifax Town Hall*).  Sainsbury’s had applied for an alcohol license and, unfortunately, it was granted.  We didn’t expect to ‘win’ this one as the grounds for objection are extremely narrow.  And so it was.  What we did discover is that if the Police or other health body had spoken up in either of their areas of expertise, the outcome might well have been different.  An in-depth report on the afternoon’s proceedings is on Jenny Shepherd’s excellent site – Upper Calder Vally Plain Speaker.  It is possible, having done some further research, that we may launch an appeal – we have 21 days to do this.  If anyone has any expertise in doing this, please get in touch.

Meanwhile, Dave’s ‘Letter to the Editor’ outlining the results of our recent price survey appeared in the Hebden Bridge Times today.  As you’ll see from the data, we’ve conclusively shown that the proposed Sainsbury’s will be more expensive than any of the competing shops in Hebden.  We also learned today from the solicitor representing Sainsbury’s alcohol application, that the company has a national pricing policy in two bands – the first being that for supermarkets and the second being for ‘Local’ stores.  This means that the prices in Hebden will definitely be the same as in Mytholmroyd.

Finally, it is just worth saying that the number of objections is now at 366 – this is really good, but not nearly enough to be comfortable.  SOS Hebden Bridge hope to get this up to over a 1,000.  We’ve got 10 days to go.  Have you objected to the planning permission yet?  If not please follow the link and make your voice heard.  SOS members will be in town this weekend with flyers, hoping to get more support – say ‘hello’ if you see us about.

*photo courtesy Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker under creative commons sharealike-attribution-non commercial licence

7/2/14 – Its been a busy few days and the word is getting around.
One hundred and sixty seven objections to Sainsbury’s planning application against one in favour so far.  This is excellent and stunning, but we need this number to grow a lot more if we’re going to send a message to Calderdale council, and the rest of the World, that Hebden Bridge is not for sale.
There is some confusion as to when the last day for objections actually is – and we’ve been asking council officers for clarification.
The most likely date is 21st February, but there seems some chance that actually it’s next Wednesday (12th February) – so please, if you haven’t already, take a few minutes and object to the planning permission.
Also, we are going to Halifax Town Hall this Thursday (13th) to stand against Sainsbury’s application for an alcohol licence – if you can join us at 2pm
(or earlier outside for photos) – you’d be very welcome.

HangingRoyd1200HangingRoyd2200Yesterday (Thursday) we measured the available space in Hangingroyd (parallel to Valley Road) where Sainsbury’s 11m trucks (as mentioned in their own traffic report) would need to pass 5 times a day.


Checking the dimensions of these trucks we find that their width is 2.55m.
See for yourself if their self-assesment should be trusted in any way.

HangingRoyd5200Sainsbury’s say “It is considered there are no transport reasons why the planning application should not be approved”

Click pics to enlarge.

Read the  dubiously biased “Transport Report” submitted by Sainsbury’s HERE

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