Second supermarket?

An application for outline planning permission has been put forward for a new supermarket on the former site of Crystal Drinks, Featherstone.
An application for outline planning permission has been put forward for a new supermarket on the former site of Crystal Drinks, Featherstone.
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A NEW supermarket could be built on a derelict factory site in Featherstone.

An application for outline planning permission has been submitted to Wakefield Council for a “new retail foodstore with associated access, servicing and parking” at the former Crystal Springs site on Wakefield Road.

The plan – submitted by agents Nathanial Lichfield and Partners on behalf of applicants Longstone Alliance – also includes plans to demolish a vacant dwelling at the site of the former soft drinks factory.

Mark Taylforth, property developer for Longstone Alliance, said: “Other than Lidl there’s no supermarket in Featherstone where people can do their main weekly shop.

“The site is near the town centre and it has been vacant for a long time. We’ve been in discussion with the big four operators but we haven’t signed one up yet.

“Our strategy is to get planning permission first and we’ll be talking to them all again in detail.”

Crystal Springs went into administration in 2003, and in 2009 Featherstone town councillor John Jackson launched a bid to get retail bosses interested in the former factory site after the town’s only supermarket, Kwik Save, was axed in 2007.

In February 2011 German discount store Lidl opened a branch in Featherstone at the junction of Girnhill Lane and Wakefield Road.

Land owner Richard Marsden – who bought the former Crystal Springs site in 2005 – said he hoped developing a supermarket there would create more jobs in the town.

He said: “When I bought the land it was at the beginning of the recession and it’s not been the right time to develop it.

“I think there’s room for two supermarkets in the town and hopefully this will be good for Featherstone and provide significant employment which will go towards replacing the employment lost at Crystal Springs.”

Coun Jackson said he attended a public meeting at Chesney’s Resource Centre in Featherstone last month about the new proposals and was shown drawings and plans for the site.

He added: “There were plans on show for 275 parking spaces and a supermarket which will be at the back of Priory Road. It all looks good and it’s going to regenerate Featherstone.”

Wakefield Council confirmed it received a planning application this week and would advertise the application in the press in line with planning procedures.