Row breaks out between supermarkets over plans for new Cleckheaton Aldi store

Store wars have broken out over plans for a new Aldi supermarket on the edge of Cleckheaton town centre.

By Martin Shaw
Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:47 am
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:48 am

Bradford-based supermarket chain Morrisons, which has a big store in Heckmondwike, has lodged an official objection with Kirklees Council.

Somewhat bizarrely, they want the store built in Heckmondwike town centre instead!

Also fighting the plans are the developers behind Westex Flooring’s Castle Mills site who want to bring rival supermarket Lidl to town along with a B&M Homestore.

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Proposed site of new Aldi store at former Cleckheaton Mills, Bradford Road, Cleckheaton

Z&D Property Investments Ltd is seeking permission for the new Aldi food store and 110 parking spaces at Cleckheaton Mills in Bradford Road.

In its objection letter to the council, Morrisons says the Aldi site is 700-800 metres outside Cleckheaton town centre and is within a “priority employment area.”

They say the site already has planning permission for 110 new homes and if the store went ahead it would see around 37 houses lost.

Morrisons, which itself built a store in Heckmondwike town centre in 1987 amid fears for independent traders, says there is a more suitable site for Aldi at premises in Union Street, Heckmondwike, which are currently available to let.

They say an Aldi in Heckmondwike would improve the “town centre retail offer.”

The developers of the Castle Mills site, who are not identified on council documents, says they are currently in discussions with Westex Flooring and claim the site “presents an opportunity to deliver a new Lidl foodstore and a B&M Homestore.”

Their site, they say, is within 300 metres of the primary shopping area and therefore classed as the “town centre” unlike Cleckheaton Mills.

On the consultation several shoppers welcomed competition for Cleckheaton’s existing Tesco store.

One said: “We really need some competition for Tesco as you cannot rely on their service.

“You can buy something one week and then next week it’s gone up 10p or 20p or it’s not in stock for another few weeks.”

Another said: “Cleckheaton desperately needs another supermarket. Tesco have had the monopoly far too long.”

Cleckheaton Lib Dem councillor John Lawson said: “I can see a new Aldi store would be popular for residents to have a choice but a decision has to be taken in the round.

“We need to look at traffic management issues and what the impact might be on local businesses.”